Muslim groups in Indiana are reportedly angry over a billboard which they believe mocks the Prophet Muhammad.
As Fox 59 states, the billboard, seen on Interstate 465, features the headline “The Perfect Man,” followed by six bullet points describing him:
- Married 6-year-old
- Slave owner & dealer
- Beheaded 600 Jews in one day
- 13 wives, 11 at one time
- Tortured & killed unbelievers
The Indianapolis Star traced the billboard to Don Woodsmall, a principal for a firm called LightPoint Impressions.
He said he sold the ad to a “group of patriotic Americans” who were denied advertising by national companies.
“Their desire, born out of love and not hate, is to launch a national conversation,” Woodsmall said in a statement.
He refused to name the group behind the ad, saying they had requested anonymity.
“After talking to a half-dozen Islamic scholars and receiving and reviewing numerous citations from Islamic law and literature, I was convinced that each point listed on the billboard was historically and factually true,” Woodsmall continued.
Several Muslim groups have criticized the sign.
According to WRTV Indianapolis, the Muslim Alliance of Indiana has described it as “an attack on all Muslims.”
“It is a horrible billboard,” said Rima Shahid, executive director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana. “I’m outraged by it, but saddened at the same time.”
“At any point this would have been highly offensive, but we’re in the holiest month of our faith, when we slow down and reconnect with our communities,” he reportedly continued, claiming that the billboard “perpetuates hate.”
“I was a little disappointed when I saw that,” said Faryal Khatri of the Islamic Society of North America. “We’ve seen them in New York and several other cities on billboards as well as other transit ads.”
Indiana Senator Todd Young (R) denounced the sign in a tweet Monday night.
This is beneath us — disturbing and divisive. Displays like this incite and offend rather than educate. https://t.co/J1d6R0WsSJ
— Senator Todd Young (@SenToddYoung) June 6, 2017
Indiana Rep. Andre Carson (D) believes the billboard’s author took Islamic text out of context “just like Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the Klan do to religious texts to justify their bigotry.”
The caption ‘Educate Truthophobes’ appears at the bottom of the ad. A Google search of the phrase shows results for an organization called ‘Truthophobes,’ which it says is dedicated to “exposing Islam and the left who fear the truth.”
Many responded to initial reports of the ad’s appearance on Twitter.
Just call it art…like they did in Phoenix. pic.twitter.com/1pCam3FiTr
— NormalDawn – Jeff Flake is toast (@noprezzie2012) June 6, 2017
Can Muslims deny any of it? It's all true
— Brutus (@brunosunshine) June 6, 2017
— Andrew Bostom (@andrewbostom) June 7, 2017