Now on the surface they seem to merely be conveying a positive message of tolerance but in actuality, it’s just the latest whitewashing campaign to depict modern Islam as a force for good in the world and to depict Islam’s critics of being “Islamophobes,” a manufactured term designed to make Islam look like a protected class rather than simply an bad ideology.
Now you’ll notice that while they attempt to attribute social justice, women’s rights, and environmentalism with Mohammed, they don’t actually cite any scripture to back these claims up. The reason of course is that no such passages exist. Also, the unintentional irony of using the one woman in the ad wearing the mandatory hijab in Islamic cultures is the one claiming Islam as a source for female rights is just outstanding.
Fortunately, some have taken steps to correct these ads. I particularly like this one (which incidentally DOES cite the appropriate scripture):
But I also really thought Hemant Mehta hit some important points at the end of his piece, linked to at the top:
Radical Muslims, no doubt, have done awful things and continue to do them.
But Moderate Muslims aren’t helping their cause.
They don’t do nearly enough to criticize the radicals. Sure, they denounce violence in the name of Islam, but how often do you hear them denouncing things like the female face coverings? Anyone remember when they got mad at us for drawing images of Muhammad? One of the most outspoken moderate Muslims, Eboo Patel, compared atheists’ harmless stick figure drawings to a swastika!
You’ll never see an ad in this “Inspired by Muhammad” campaign that says “I believe in free speech. So did Muhammad.”
Or “I believe in peace. So did Muhammad.”
Or “I believe in religious freedom. So did Muhammad.”
Because even the ads creators know those posters would just lead to raised eyebrows and laughter.
While there are many Muslim moderates out there who are very good people, they’re not doing their part to condemn the fanatics and Islam itself doesn’t seem to be the force for any good at all in the world today. At best, the moderates can claim positive contributions today DESPITE the tenets laid out in their holy book.