October 24, 2018 – A group of Muslim-Americans have put up a blunt billboard in the US denouncing ISIS, saying that people should stop conflating the terrorist group with Islam.
“We as a community are trying to get the word out, you know, that we are as much affected by this ISIS issue,” said Tariq Malik, a Chesterfield resident who helped organize the effort behind billboard. “We need to let people know that we are much against ISIS as anyone else, if not more,” the local media stltoday.Com reported.
Billboards like this one are popping up across the country. The campaign started in Chicago with a nonprofit called Sound Vision Foundation and has spread to cities like Miami and Phoenix.
Malik said Muslims are trying to stop people from conflating the terrorist group with Islam. The billboard quotes the Quran, Islam’s holy book, where it says, “Life is sacred.” Malik said he and his peers also want to halt a perception that Muslims aren’t speaking up enough against ISIS.
“These acts are being done in the name of religion, which really has nothing to do with the religion,” Malik said, speaking of terrorism. “It just has to do with radical people taking on their own agenda and hijacking the name of Islam.”
This St. Louis billboard was the work of community members like Malik and the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, he said.