News / USA

British Muslims Mount PR Campaign to Improve Image

Poster in London subway is part of campaign to improve image of Muslims in Britain
Poster in London subway is part of campaign to improve image of Muslims in Britain

Multimedia

Olly Barratt

A group of British Muslims has launched a campaign to improve the image of Islam in Britain.  The campaign was conceived after an opinion poll found that  most Britons associate the religion with extremism. The group has displayed posters - all around London - of Muslims, with captions that reflect positively on Islam.  But critics say the campaign is one-sided, and even misleading.

With over 1.5 million Muslims, Islam is now the second largest religion in Britain.


What the survey found

Yet, a recent survey by YouGov, Britain's largest polling organization, found that 58 percent of people surveyed associate Islam with extremism. Fully half link it to terrorism, and almost 70 percent feel Islam encourages the oppression of women.

Remona Aly, from the Exploring Islam Foundation, says her organization, which commissioned the poll, felt it needed to respond.

"We want to speak out as young British Muslim professionals who are confident about our faith and proud of our country and proud of our religion," she explained, "so we wanted to highlight our concerns by promoting a positive image of Islam which is rarely seen in the mainstream."

Poster campaign

The group's "Inspired by Muhammad" posters are now on view all around London, including in stations of the Underground and at bus stops.

They feature Muslims who work in a variety of professions and who say  they believe in women's rights, protecting the environment and social justice, as did the Prophet Muhammad.

"Muhammad was in favor of women's rights in a kind of way," noted Douglas Murray from London's Centre for Social Cohesion, a non partisan research institute. "In 7th century Arabia, he even did some things  that were relatively progressive for 7th century women in Arabia, but certainly not for 21st century women in Britain or anywhere else.  And a bigger example, a better example perhaps of a complete lack of context and a sort of almost amazingly glib attempt to revise history, is that Muhammad was the first sort of  environmentalist."

Campaign organizers disagree

The campaign organizers say the Prophet promoted respect for the environment - encouraging water preservation, for example.

They say Islam's holy book, the Koran, states men and women were created as equal parts of a pair.

"Prophet Muhammad elevated the status of women, gave them the rights of divorce, the rights of inheritance, the rights of property and the right to maintain their name even after marriage," noted Aly.  "And Muslim women throughout history have become scholars, jurists, politicians and we see that even today."

London bombing anniversary

The campaign coincides with the fifth anniversary of coordinated suicide attacks on  London's transportation network. The bombings killed 52 people, including the four Muslim bombers. Those attacks are still fresh in the public's mind.

Remona Aly did not address the bombings directly.  She said she hopes the poster  campaign will help Britons see Muslims in a new light.

"So it was important to us as British Muslims to convey that we have the same values, we share the same concerns," she said.

The foundation says its campaign is a success. It says its Facebook page has thousands of fans, and that its website has received hundreds of thousands of hits in the few weeks since the posters went on display.

I'll come over and let you know about the problems. Bill

 

 

 

DATE= JULY 20, 2010

TYPE= TV FEATURE REPORT

TITLE= BRITAIN / MUSLIM IMAGE (RE-ISSUE) NUMBER= 10-08069 BYLINE= OLLY BARRATT DATELINE= LONDON EDITOR= RACHEL SILVERMAN (FSN); JANE FRIEDMAN CONTENT=

 

RESTRICTIONS: NONE

PRODUCER: OLLY BARRATT

NARRATOR: DEBBY TATE

CAMERA: FSN

TAPE EDITOR: FSN / ANDRE TYLER

TAPE NUMBERS: EM10-5886, EM10-5883

TRT: 3:08

AUDIO and VIDEO INFORMATION is located at the end of this script.

This includes directions for finding the NATURAL SOUND version of the story in DALET.

 

 

///EDS: REISSUING WITH CHANGES IN NARRATION///

 

HEADLINE: British Muslims Mount PR Campaign to Improve Image

 

SUBHEAD: Posters around London say the Prophet Muhammad promoted women's

rights and the environment

 

INTRODUCTION:

A group of British Muslims has launched a campaign to improve the image

of Islam in Britain. The campaign was conceived after an opinion poll

found that most Britons associate the religion with extremism. The group

has displayed posters -- all around London -- of Muslims, with captions

that reflect positively on Islam. But critics say the campaign is

one-sided, and even misleading. Olly Barratt reports for VOA from

London. VOA's Deborah Tate narrates.

 

NARRATOR:

With over one and a half million Muslims, Islam is now the second

largest religion in Britain.

 

Yet, a recent survey by YouGov, Britain's largest polling organization,

found that 58 per cent of people surveyed associate Islam with

extremism. Fully half link it to terrorism, and almost 70 percent feel

Islam encourages the oppression of women.

 

Remona Aly, from the Exploring Islam Foundation, says her organization,

which commissioned the poll, felt it needed to respond.

 

REMONA ALY, EXPLORING ISLAM FOUNDATION

"We want to speak out as young British Muslim professionals who are

confident about our faith and proud of our country and proud of our

religion, so we wanted to highlight our concerns by promoting a positive

image of Islam which is rarely seen in the mainstream."

 

NARRATOR:

The group's "Inspired by Muhammad" posters are now on view all around

London, including in stations of the Underground and at bus stops.

 

They feature Muslims who work in a variety of professions and who say

they believe in women's rights, protecting the environment and social

justice, as did the Prophet Muhammad.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid