Community Service is subject of New Muslim Ad
The importance of community service is the focus in the sixth installment of a national advertising campaign designed to foster greater understanding of Islam and to counter the rising tide of Islamophobic rhetoric in the United States. (SEE: http://www.americanmuslims.info)
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group, launched the year-long “Islam in America” campaign February 16 with an ad on the New York Times editorial page. (CAIR’s campaign was put on hold during the war in Iraq.) The first five ads featured examples of family values and ethnic diversity in the American Muslim community, a Muslim Girl Scout troop in California, a Muslim woman explaining why modest Islamic attire is both liberating and empowering, and a condemnation of terrorism in the name of any religion.
“There has been a very positive response to our campaign in the Muslim community and with people of other faiths who view the ads and the message of tolerance and diversity they convey,” said CAIR Board Chairman Omar Ahmad. Ahmad said the ads have been used in a variety of creative ways, including as handouts in classrooms and as posters in employee break rooms. The text of the latest CAIR ad reads:
“MY NAME IS DR. J. AISHA SIMON. I attended the Medical College of Virginia, completed my residency at Georgetown University and I’ll be attending Harvard University to earn a master’s degree in public health. I’m a family physician, a wife and a mother. I’m also involved in international relief work, traveling to places like Bosnia and Africa, and coordinating medical volunteers to serve in Guatemala. I was previously a regional coordinator for an anti-tobacco education campaign for elementary school children and I’ve served as an advocate for domestic violence survivors.
“I’m an American Muslim woman and I believe in the importance of charity and service to my community.
“The values I learned from my family and my religion while growing up in America have led me to a life of service. Islam calls upon us to strive with one another in hastening to good deeds, and to care for the less fortunate as we care for ourselves. The Prophet Muhammad taught us that when we serve our brother or sister, we are serving God.”
The weekly CAIR ads, each explaining one aspect of Islam, are being distributed to Muslim communities around America for placement in local newspapers. All the advertisements are available at: http://www.americanmuslims.info/archive.asp
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 16 regional offices nationwide and in Canada.