A new evangelizing campaign by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) has launched in California and is expected to cross America in the coming weeks with billboards inviting the public to come to Islam and "discover" the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
"Looking for the answers in life? Discover Muhammad," one billboard reads in Sacramento. Similar signs appear elsewhere in California, including Los Angeles.
According to Reuters, the idea for the billboards was birthed after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris and the first ones went up just after the "Draw Muhammad" event in Texas that was targeted by followers of Islam. Those signs are now down but 100 more are scheduled and are appearing roadside across the nation, including Philadelphia, Baltimore, Dallas, Atlanta, and Miami according to the report.
ICNA's Deputy Secretary General Waqas Syed told Reuters that the billboards are part proselytizing and part public relations. He said, "We thought a proper approach would be to actually educate the larger public about [Muhammad's] personality, which exemplifies love and brotherhood." Syed said the billboards will be a success if they gain new converts but more than that, he stressed, he just wants Muhammad to be seen in a good light -- as one who believed in "peace, social justice, and women's rights."
ICNA's President Naeem Baig told The Baltimore Sun, "The stereotypical image of the prophet is not what we are taught or preach. The Islam we know or practice is totally different from that image. Our Islam is a commitment to God and service and to society, we must convey that."
ICNA previously sponsored billboards that tried to show similarities between Islam and Christianity. Below are a selection of billboards put up by local ICNA chapters around the U.S.:
Photo Reuters, H/T The Blaze