Tuesday, 8 June 2010

PR campaign for Muslims launched in London *Updated*

*Updated see below*
An advertising campaign aimed at countering negative views of Muslims was launched in London on Monday as a survey showed that a majority of Britons linked Islam with terrorism.
The adverts, which will appear on London taxis, underground trains and bus stops, feature pictures of Muslim professionals.
The Inspired by Muhammad campaign is organised by the Exploring Islam Foundation, a group run by British Muslim professionals which aims to challenge "damaging stereotypes about Islam through the medium of creative resources."

"We are very concerned about the way our faith is perceived by the public," said the foundation's campaigns director Remona Aly.
"We want to foster a greater understanding of what British Muslims are about and our contribution to British society. We are proud of being British and being Muslim."
They launched the campaign Monday against the backdrop of London's iconic Tower Bridge, with the slogan "The rights of women are sacred" and an Internet link written on the side of a taxi.
Other adverts have slogans like "I believe in social justice. So did Muhammad."

Yes, nothing says social justice like Sharia.

As with all PR campaigns (religious or otherwise) it helps to know who is behind them. Remona Aly works as a freelance writer and so it is not too difficult to browse some of her texts online. For example, here are some excerpts from a 2004 article she wrote entitled "Islam the Enemy:"

The oxymoron ‘Muslim terrorist’ is as much an anathema to Islam as ‘Christian terrorist’ is to
Christianity. It is naive to suggest that all Muslims are entirely innocentof these slurs, but it is equally ignorant to demonise them all.

The legacy of crusading rhetoric resonates in the words of Reverend Franklin Graham, George Bush’s choice of preacher for his presidential inauguration. Graham called Islam ‘a very wicked and evil religion’. The same rhetoric was again use by the President himself and many cringed at his use of the word ‘crusade’, and his primitive ‘us versus them’, ‘good versus axis of evil’ approach. [SMW: Bush went out of his way to refer to Islam as a religion of peace, and to refer to terrorists as misunderstanders of Islam, much to the chagrin of many conservatives.]
Manipulation of the news media was evident in the JessicaLynch story that used the simple black and white formula withthe good guys ‘rescuing’ Lynch from the ‘bad’ Iraqis, played out
to the world’s audience.

The perpetual myth of the enemy in western films and dramas, cast the Japanese after Pearl Harbour, the Russians following the Cold War, and now Muslims are in the role of the enemy.
[SMW: The 'perpetual myth of the enemy' of course implies that there is not, nor has there been, an enemy. Notice that it reads 'cast the Japanese after Pearl Harbour,' and not 'cast the Japanese after they attacked Pearl Harbour on December 7 1941, killing over 2000 American troops.' But hey, who cares about details and silly little facts?]
the crusading era has left a legacy of enmity that we can find in today’s newspapers...
Muslims have even begun to label themselves using others’ definitions, dividing themselves into ‘moderates’ or ‘extremists’, yet by whose standards? The propaganda machine is fuelled
with misplaced words, and chokes out dubious images for us to inhale.

[SMW: The 'moderate/extremists' question intrigues me. By whose standards? Is this to say that what the West considers extremism should not be viewed as extremism by Muslims?]

This article appeared in the magazine Q News, in the January 2004 issue. If you click on the link scroll down to page 22 for the article. This magazine is filled with anti-Western, anti-American and anti-Israel propaganda. In fact, the article immediately following Remona Aly's is an attempt at humour in which the author declares George W. Bush the stupidest man on earth and praises Osama bin Laden's 'superiority' to Bush 43 (I'm not kidding, read it for yourself).

In the magazine credits, Remona Aly is listed as a Research Administrator of the Centre of Islamic Studies at the notoriously anti-Israel, anti-American, anti-Western School of Oriental and African Studies. (Not unrelated: An SOAS student was on the Gaza Entrapment Flotilla).

Remona Aly is one of the co-founders of Muslim lifestyle magazine Emel.
Here is an excerpt from her writings for the magazine:
January 2010
Just over a year ago, Gaza saw the beginning of the bloodiest war it had witnessed when the Israeli army continued its relentless onslaught causing well over a thousand Palestinian deaths.

January 2009 Aly published a glowing interview with the UK head of Islamic Relief, a charity which has been linked to numerous terror groups including Hamas and Osama bin Laden.

You can visit the campaign website for 'Inspired by Mohammed' here. All I can say is: wow.

This is one of the images from the campaign:

In this image is lawyer Sultana Tafadar. Ms. Tafadar authored a report for the IHRC entitled "The Hidden Victims of September 11: Prisoners of UK Law." This report, authored by Tafadar, was presented by Reza Kazim at the IHRC Conference on 8 September 2002 which was attended and run by various terrorist sympathizers including the infamous Yvonne Ridley. You can view the report and photos from the event here. The IHRC (of which Ms. Tafadar is a member) is another issue entirely which SMW does not have time to go into in this post. In Minds (Innovative Minds, where the report from this IHRC conference is published) is one of the most virulent anti-semitic websites on the web. Go and see for yourself.

There is much more to write about this, I am sure that Robert Spencer will have something to say about the theological aspect of these ads. However, for now take a look at the people who are running this campaign. The people who are upset because they believe people associate Islam with terrorism. These are the same people defending suspected terrorists and promoting terror groups like Hamas while spewing anti-Israel, anti-American and anti-Western rhetoric. Shocker.

UPDATE: Moose and Squirrel comments
Check out the comments at BCF, Kaffir Kanuck puts up some useful info
Yes, Robert Spencer does have something to say about this.

Upper Update: Flea has more.

Uppity Upper Update: Jawa goes photoshopping....