A Chicago-based Islamic non-profit decided that since shouting “ISIS sucks!” from the rooftops hasn’t done much to sway Islamophobia in the United States, they would scrape together the funds to put their anti-ISIS slogan on a highly visible billboard in a Chicago suburb.
The clever signage on I-294 advertises that “#ActualMuslims” don’t support ISIS and that the Muslim holy book states that “Life is sacred.”
Leena Suleiman, who was one of the 60 fundraisers from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, told NBC that the sign is “about shouting out, 'ISIS does not represent me, I'm Muslim, I say the word 'sucks,' I'm like everyone else in my country.' We want to scream it from a billboard.”
With the billboard, the organization hopes to normalize American Muslims who don’t agree with radical extremism, by promoting peace and anti-radicalization. President Barack Obama stated at the Pentagon on Thursday that these types of messages are essential for defeating ISIS.
The simple and direct message that “ISIS sucks” is part of a wider anti-radicalization campaign from Sound Vision. The NGO’s website states that Muslims “fight hate and extremism” and that ISIS “abuses the Quran” to support its agenda. It further condemns Islamic militancy by explaining how the Quran teaches against murder, slavery, and rape.
But, will the billboard sway public opinion about Muslims?
Suleiman’s hopeful, but has some concerns about how the message will be received by the larger public. She said, “Obviously Muslims know that ISIS sucks, so the main audience is people who are not Muslims... People who need to hear that Muslims are not OK with what ISIS is doing.”
Photo credit: Twitter, @ikhantwit