A follow-up to the post featuring this billboard near Detroit:

Here is some Arabic woman who was upset to see an anti-Sharia message along the highway. (An anti-Sharia billboard is apparently much more upsetting than all those billboards reading “www.IslamAmerica.org” or “Why Islam,” occasionally sponsored by Women in Islam.)

United American Committee’s clever response: “We hope this message inspires the Muslims of America who came to this country to escape Sharia, to stand up against it.” And a press release from the UAC:

Billboard sparks controversy in Detroit

The non-profit group United American Committee has erected a controversial 48 ft. long billboard on Interstate 75 south of Detroit, MI with a statement in opposition to Islamic Sharia Law, a legal system that many believe is a growing threat to the U.S. Constitution.

DETROIT, MI (November 25th, 2008) - The billboard, located just south of Luna Pier Rd. on the south bound side of the Detroit-Toledo Expressway, states “Sharia Law Threatens America”. Sharia Law is a legal system recognized in many Islamic countries such as the former Taliban regime of Afghanistan, and currently Saudi Arabia, and is a legal system which dictates beheadings, stonings, and other punishments for what are listed as crimes under Sharia such as homosexuality and adultery, and according to critics views women as inferior granting them little rights. Days after the billboard went up, emails from angry Muslim residents began coming in to the offices of the United American Committee, the organization behind the billboard. “Muslims are the biggest victims of Sharia Law in the world.” remarked Tom Trento, a spokesperson for the UAC. Trento continued “We hope this message inspires the Muslims of America who came to this country to escape Sharia, to stand up against it.”

If one goes to the website listed on the board ( http://www.UnitedAmericanCommittee.org ) they will find a video of Wafa Sultan, a Syrian Muslim who escaped from the middle-east and has become an outspoken critic of Sharia Law. “At times, it feels to me, that Sharia is following me to the United States” Sultan says in the video, referring to Islamic charities and organizations in America who have pushed for support for Sharia Law in parts of America. Sultan also points out that in Great Britain and France, Sharia Law is being enforced in various ways in certain communities. Most recently Great Britain has officially sanctioned the establishment of Sharia courts for civil matters among Muslims. “Our constitution is not compatible with Sharia” Sultan states, a view shared by many in America.

The United American Committee is a leading non-profit educational group dedicated to awakening the nation to the threats of radical Islam and works to educate Americans on the nature of Islamic extremism. Its mission is to fight the ideological aspects of the War on Terror to counter elements of radical Islam in America.

MEDIA CONTACT
Tom Trento 561-767-0982
info@unitedamericancommittee.org

******

With the fantastic response to the Detroit billboard confronting Islamic Sharia Law that was recently put up by the United American Committee, the UAC desires to expand that campaign, and put up more boards with the same or similar messages in key demographic areas. Please help us achieve that goal.

Please make your most generous end of the year tax deductible donation to:
United American Committee
P.O. Box 80325
RSM, CA 92688

Or contribute instantly and securely online by clicking here.

Speaking of the “Why Islam” billboards, along comes this timely item from Tampa Bay News, Dec. 13:

Islamic organizations use billboards to reach out, educate

…If you call the number you’ll reach an office in Somerset, N.J. run by the Islamic Circle of North America, a Muslim advocacy group based in Jamaica, N.Y. Once on the line, callers can ask just about anything.

Even… “When are ya’all going to stop blowing shit up?”?

The signs with catchy phrases and images is part of a national campaign by the nonprofit group to promote discussion about Islam and debunk stereotypes about Muslims.

Stereotypes? Such as… “They’re not all like that”?

For Ramadan, they wrapped Chicago city buses with WhyIslam signs and put up ads on New York City subway cars, which sparked some controversy.

And no wonder. Most of the people complaining were probably just heeding the message from the signs that these signs replaced: “If you see something, say something.” (For which Muslims will now sue you.)

Last week, 24 billboards went up in 18 cities, including Orlando, Portland, Ore., and San Antonio, Texas. Many of them were in cities that do not have large Muslim populations…Tampa was not among ICNA’s target markets, but Bilal Farooqi, a 23-year-old recent college graduate, requested the billboard and agreed to sponsor it.

He felt the need to take action after another nonprofit last fall distributed “Obsession,” a controversial DVD about radical Islam. That group mailed it and placed it in 58 newspapers around the country, including the St. Petersburg Times.

Farooqi asked his friends and several adults at the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area mosque in Tampa to help him raise the $1,900 needed to design the ad and rent the billboard in Seffner until the end of December.

Despite it’s [sic] clearly spiritual message, Farooqi says it is not about gaining converts, but about education.

“It’s a billboard, and you only get three or four words to make it catchy,” Farooqi said. “I couldn’t think of anything more catchy than that. If we just said ‘Islam is a religion of peace,’ people aren’t going to really be as intrigued by it.”

Despite his intentions, Farooqi worries he will be stung by the very attitudes the billboard campaign is trying to dispel.

A 2007 graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Farooqi frets that future employers may one day learn of his association with the campaign, misunderstand its purpose and deny him jobs.

Still he feels the message is more important.

Most often, callers ask about the Prophet Mohammed, the supposed oppression of Muslim women, and the basic tenants [sic] of Islam. A fair amount call to rant.

“I had one call of 90 seconds of continuous, nonstop curses, cursing God, Muslims, Islam,” said Ahmed, who is an imam at a New Jersey mosque. “But I just kept silent and waited for him to stop.”

After the caller finished his rant, Ahmed said he talked to the man for half an hour about Islam and agreed to send him some brochures about the faith…

That caller is what is known as an atheist. Already angry, atheists happen to be one of the groups most receptive to Islamic conversion. And, as we know, to devil worship.

Below is a related story:

Muslim families removed from AirTran flight get apology

After helping deliver the District of Columbia’s first baby of 2009, Dr. Kashif Irfan boarded a flight to Orlando, Fla., with his wife, three children and other relatives to participate in a weekend retreat on the peaceful practice of Islam.

(Moms, don’t be surprised if this doc gives the babies he delivers a da’wa doll.)

But instead of taking off as scheduled, Irfan and his family were suddenly ordered off the plane, detained in the airport and refused passage by the airline after they were cleared by the FBI.

“I was thinking, ‘What could we have possibly done to render us liable to this form of treatment?’ ” said Irfan, a U.S. citizen born in Detroit.

The handling of the Irfan family, after comments one of them made about airline safety aroused suspicions of two teenage passengers, caused an uproar Friday among Muslim Americans.

Orlando-based AirTran Airways apologized to the family. It said it refunded their airfares, agreed to reimburse them for replacement tickets they bought on US Airways after they were refused passage Thursday, and offered to fly the passengers back to Washington free of charge.

“We apologize to all the passengers — to the nine who had to undergo extensive interviews from the authorities and to the 95 who ultimately made the flight,” the airline said in a statement. “Nobody on Flight 175 reached their destination on time on New Year’s Day, and we regret it.”

The airline called the incident a “misunderstanding,” but added that the steps that were taken were necessary to ensure security and safety.

The Irfan family was boarding Thursday when Irfan’s wife made a comment about the safest place to sit on the plane, according to Irfan’s brother Atif, who was also on the flight with his wife and wife’s sister.

“It was a very lighthearted conversation about the safest spot of the plane,” said Atif, 29, who is a lawyer in Alexandria, Va. “But, I guess, these two teenage girls had gleaned from our conversation that we were going to try and take over the plane.”

That conversation caused the eight family members and a friend, who was also traveling to the conference, to be escorted off the plane and questioned by FBI agents. Federal officials removed the rest of the passengers, did a sweep of the aircraft and then re-screened everyone before allowing the flight to depart about two hours behind schedule.

The Irfan brothers said Friday that they thought they had been profiled based on their appearances. The men had beards, and the women wore head scarves.

Even after the FBI cleared the family and their friend, AirTran refused to book them on another flight.

In an earlier news release Friday, the airline said that one of the passengers became irate and made inappropriate comments and had to be escorted away from a gate by local law enforcement.

Irfan disputed that contention. He said no one was escorted from the gate.

“My wife was perhaps irritated but was in no way hostile,” Irfan said. “She was very upset that despite being humiliated on the plane, and despite being cleared, we were not going to be allowed to reschedule our flight. That was the last straw, she just couldn’t hold her feelings back anymore of being treated like a second-class citizen and having her civil rights trampled on.”

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! The woman for whom second-class citizenship is her religion couldn’t stand having her civil rights trampled on. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

…The Irfan family incident prompted the Council for American-Islamic Relations to file a complaint Friday with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

But the Transportation Security Administration said the proper protocol had been followed. After passengers are cleared for travel it is up to the airline to seat them, TSA spokesman Christopher White said. “The pilot ultimately has the authority of who flies in his or her aircraft,” White said.

As reader and source Liz Milanovich wrote:

This looks like a classic case of pretending innocence while at the same time trying to provoke attention. It will be happening more and more often in the future. This incident reminds me of when I returned from a trip to Europe after 9/11. There were a number of Muslims on board, dressed in Muslim gear from head to toe. They spent a lot of time standing, chatting and laughing in the front of our section. I believe their intent was to exhibit their Muslim ‘power’ to the rest of us…Perhaps they too were hoping they’d be approached and then create a rucus about how they were being profiled.

So the following potential solution occurred to me: The terrorists will probably be the ones who are *not* acting suspiciously. So we should start reporting only on Muslims who are acting normal. (Which is suspicious in and of itself.) I’m not exactly joking, either, if you read that 2005 piece “Jihad Comes to Small Town, USA“:

…The first speaker was the head of the Muslim Students’ Association at the nearby university…He was talking about the problems he had encountered on a recent trip, when TSA flagged him for extra screening. He joked about the fact that they had stopped him for extensive screening. He had anticipated that he would be screened and he had filled his carryon luggage with printouts of the Quran from the Internet, and had 15 or 16 CDs labeled in Arabic, and he had a notebook computer with him.

As he expected, he was delayed – he thought it was very amusing that while several TSA personnel were scrutinizing his personal belongings that his classmate from Jordan was able to walk through security, along with his American girlfriend, without any problems whatsoever.

One of the men said, in Arabic: “Blonde Americans are good for something!”

So this hints at a terror tactic that I’ve heard mentioned here and there: work in tandem with another couple, and while one set of Arabs/Muslims distracts security personnel by raising some red flags, the “normal” ones will have an easier time getting through, with whatever plot/device in tow.

Then again, I like my original solution: Muslim-only flights. This way, there would be no need for ethnic profiling, and we’ll finally get the “moderate” Muslims to speak up. Because every Middle Easterner boarding the flight will clamor, “Yo, check the dude behind me — he looks like Osama’s twin brother! You already checked him? Check him again! Strip-search his ass!”

And really, Muslims shouldn’t mind Muslim-only flights. Airplanes with nothing but Muslims as far as the eye can see should make the passengers feel right at home.

THIS JUST IN: Update on the Arabic T-shirt story:

An airline passenger forced to cover his T-shirt because it displayed Arabic script has been awarded 240,000 dollars in compensation, campaigners said Monday.

Raed Jarrar received the pay out on Friday from two US Transportation Security Authority officials and from JetBlue Airways following the August 2006 incident at New York’s JFK Airport, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced.

“The outcome of this case is a victory for free speech and a blow to the discriminatory practice of racial profiling,” said Aden Fine, a lawyer with ACLU.

(Always a Dumb Jew involved!)

Jarrar, a US resident, was apprehended as he waited to board a JetBlue flight from New York to Oakland, California, and told to remove his shirt, which had written on it in Arabic: “We will not be silent.”

He was told other passengers felt uncomfortable because an Arabic-inscribed T-shirt in an airport was like “wearing a T-shirt at a bank stating, I am a robber,’” the ACLU said.

Damn — someone actually had the balls to spell it out like that! I guess that won’t be happening again. In closing, joining the apologetics is Busta Rhymes:

The American rap star Busta Rhymes has reportedly apologised to Arabs and Muslims after one of his songs was criticised at home and abroad, including by a Dubai-based rapper who said it was demeaning.

UAE-born Yassin Alsalman, who records under the name Narcicyst, said the artist called him to explain that he did not mean to offend with his single Arab Money.

The video for the song shows Rhymes rapping about the Burj Dubai hotel, depicts him gambling with the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and posing in front of expensive cars.

The track can no longer be heard on radio stations or bought in shops, but can still be downloaded online. Alsalman said Rhymes said the track would also be removed from the internet.

After hearing the song, Alsalman felt compelled to record his own song, The Real Arab Money, in response. He posted it on the internet and was astonished to receive a phone call from Rhymes.

“He pulled the track and the remix that came out with it after the negative feedback going on in the Arab and Muslim community,” said Alsalman, 26. “He called me personally and said he wanted to tell the Arab and Muslim community that he apologised. He said he was grateful for their reaction and he would take whatever steps were required to clarify the situation. […]

Not too gangsta, Busta.