Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, July 2010
Anti-Muslim Billboard in South Carolina:
'Islam Rising ... Be Warned'
By Jackie Faye
July 5, 2010
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) –
Some take offense to billboard warning drivers about Islam
A billboard along Interstate 26 is catching a lot of eyes, and viewers are calling our newsroom about it. Some think it’s offensive, and others just want to know what it means.
On a stretch of highway from Orangeburg to Columbia, one sees advertisement on billboards scattered along the side of the road. But this billboard stands out, reading “Islam Rising Be Warned.”
“I think it is exciting hate and fear,” said Jennifer Bynum. “You know there are terrorists out there, but they are not all out there amongst us.”
The Islamic Center of Columbia has been on Gervais Street for close to 30 years. Habeeb Abdullah has been a member since the beginning, and says there is nothing to fear over the sign.
“I am not going to judge what they meant, I’m just going to take it as-is,” said Abdullah. “They say Islam is on the rise — which is true, it is on the rise — but there is nothing to be afraid of from Islam.”
If you look closely at the sign, it sends you to a website paid for by the Christian Action Network. We emailed the group for a comment, and they requested we watch their video first.
The video shows protests of people holding signs reading “Be prepared for the real holocaust” and shows the deadly attacks of 9/11. It also shows a man saying “I have been ordered by Allah to fight against people until they testify there is no god but Allah.”
Abdullah maintains there is no correlation between his religion and the video or the billboard.
“If Islam is on the rise, I think American people are informed enough to know what is right and what is wrong,” Abdullah said. “So if they are accepting Islam, there has to be a reason.”
We emailed the Christian action network again after watching the video, per their request. Their response was, “If you still have questions after watching the trailer then you need to watch the full documentary.”
The billboard is owned by Revelation, which rents out billboards all over. The cost depends on size and location, and can run from $500 to $2,000.
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