A Columbus car dealership seems to be backing away from an advertising campaign that would have declared “a jihad on the automotive market.” Sales people would have been dressed in “burqa” outfits traditionally worn by Muslim women. Rubber swords would have been given out to the kids. Vehicles that can “comfortably seat 12 jihadists in the back” were to be featured.

One particularly interesting aspect of controversy concerning the campaign involves the Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Nationally, the CAIR sometimes has been accused of taking greater offense at misconceptions concerning Muslims than at terrorism perpetrated by Islamic militants. Many of the complaints about the car dealer’s plan indeed did accuse the company of misrepresenting those of the Islamic faith.

But the comment from CAIR’s Columbus chapter was different. Chapter President Asma Mobin-Uddin had this to say about the proposed advertising campaign: “Using that as a promotional pitch when so many are dying from the criminal activity of suicide bombers, that’s not funny. I don’t think it’s appropriate because it causes real pain.”

How refreshing. The advertising campaign indeed would have been objectionable to many Muslims. How else could they be expected to take “Fatwa Friday” promotions, in view of the fact that a fatwa is a religious edict involving any subject?

Still, the local CAIR chapter’s reaction – placing emphasis on the victims of Islamic extremism – will do much good in bringing Columbus-area residents of different faiths together. CAIR leaders in Ohio, unlike the car dealer, have the right idea.


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