Fight War On Terrorism, Religious aggression, and superstition

March 19, 2009

Islamisation: Da’wa Ads in the West

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Da’wa Ads in the West

by Daniel Pipes


I’ve become aware over the years that Islamist groups have taken out advertisements in Western countries to promote Islam (known in Arabic as da’wa). This weblog entry occasionally notes these efforts, their sponsors, texts, and responses.

For starters, the Islamic Circle of North America plans and Siraj Wahhaj, a Brooklyn imam, plan to place ads during the month of Ramadan on 1,000 of the New York City subway system’s roughly 6,200 cars at a a cost of about $48,000. Each ad will feature a black panel on the left and a white panel on the right. The left poses questions such as “Q: Islam?” “Q: Prophet Muhammad?” or “Q: Head Scarf?” and the right replies with “A: You deserve to know, 877-WHY-ISLAM or”

In a letter to Metropolitan Transit Authority officials, U.S. Rep. Peter King (Republican of New York) wrote “I have no problem with the ad itself, but I have a very, very real problem with those behind it,” a reference to ICNA and Wahhaj. King described him as “a known Islamic extremist” who would be gaining “credibility and stature” through the bus promotion. King called on the MTA “not to have these ads, not to go forward with them, and I don’t see this as a free speech issue at all.”


822The “New York Post” front page.


The New York Post broke news about the ad yesterday with a screaming front page headline titled “Jihad Train” and an inside article titled “Train-ing Day for Jihadists: Muslim Subway Ads Have Terror Tie-In.” (July 22, 2008)

Sep. 15, 2008 update: Some ten members of the Seattle chapter of the Islamic Circle of North America paid nearly $5,000 to sponsor 6 ads on the outside of Metro buses and about 25 on the inside of them. The text on the outside ads reads: “Q: Islam? A: You deserve to know, 877-WHY-ISLAM or” One of the funders, Bilal Aijazi, a software developer, says the ads, which are scheduled to run until November, are meant to stir conversation and steer people toward information on Islam. “We feel often Muslims don’t have a voice. This is just a way to present the community with a source of information about Islam that comes from Muslims themselves.”

823A Seattle bus with the pro-Islam ad.

Jan. 15, 2009 update: For the controversy over ads in Broward Country, Florida, proclaiming “ISLAM: The Way of Life of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad,” see my weblog entry “CAIR claims Abraham, Moses, and Jesus for Islam”

752A Ft. Lauderdale bus with an ad claiming Abraham, Moses, and Jesus as Muslims.


Feb. 19, 2009 update: A previously unknown group, the Islamic Circle of the Bay Area, has taken out advertising on about 170 “Muni” buses and 10 cable cars in the San Francisco area with a text that states that Islam is “The message of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad.”


782A San Francisco cable car with an ad for Islam.

Mar. 4, 2009 update: “Zombie” took pictures of the San Francisco buses, including one that proclaims “ISLAM, Submission to God, 1-877-WhyIslam” Zombie notes that there has been “nary a peep of comment or protest about these ubiquitous in-your-face ads” from denizens of what is “famously amongst the most secular and non-religious cities in the nation.”

July 5, 2008819San Francisco‘s secular residents seem to accept the pro-Islam ads.

ICNA’s New York City ad.


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