Indiana billboard sparks controversy

Indiana billboard sparks controversy

By Kevin Payne

An anti-Muslimism billboard on an Indiana highway, near Indianapolis has sparked a lot of controversy among both politicians and local citizens, and drawn concern from local Muslims.

The billboard, seen going southbound I-465 near Washington Street mocks the prophet Mohammed as “The Perfect Man.”

The all black billboard has a headline that reads, “The Perfect Man.”  Underneath are six points that describe Mohamed.  These points include, “married a six-year-old,” a slave owner,” and he had 13 wives.”  At the bottom of the billboard in yellow letters it reads, “Educate Truthophobes.”

Islamic leaders in Indianapolis are challenging the people responsible for the billboard. They claim the billboard is offensive and the statements about Mohamed are false and untrue.

“It’s a horrible billboard and I’m outraged by it,” said Rima Shahid, executive director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana.  This kind of rhetoric just furthers the division in our state and makes a neighbor question a neighbor, just like I am today.”

U.S Rep. Andre Carson, D.-Indianapolis, said that he believes the statements on the billboard are untrue.  He went on to compare the billboards author to ISIS and al-Qaeda who are known to take religious scriptures and history out of context to justify their own bigotry.  

So far, there is no organization that has claimed responsibility for the billboard.  Shahid said the billboard also does not show a company name, which means it is privately owned.  

“It’s just a group of cowards who are not even ready to put their name behind it.”  Shahid said.  “It’s very hard and I would like to find the people who are behind this and talk to them about who came up with these alternative facts.”  

In response to the billboards hateful message, the Muslim Alliance of Indiana says it’s planning to raise money to erect another billboard nearby to spread a message of peace and kindness.  

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