SACRAMENTO: In California’s capital city of Sacramento this month, stark black billboards loomed over highways and faded commercial strips, offering solace to the troubled: “Looking for the answers in life?” one asked. “Discover Muhammad (PBUH),” another said.
With messages that are part religious invitation to explore the Muslim faith and part public relations, the billboards anchor a national campaign to showcase Islam as a religion of love and tolerance, aimed at Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
But the campaign by the mainstream Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), which is sponsoring billboards in other cities to publicize the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) message, could also spark a backlash amid a spike in anti-Islamic sentiment marked by protests, advertising campaigns and sometimes vandalism and violence.
“We thought a proper approach would be to actually educate the larger public about his (the Prophet PBUH’s) personality, which exemplifies love and brotherhood,” said Waqas Syed, ICNA Deputy Secretary General.