Meanwhile in San Francisco...
I don't know much about the pseudonymous fellow who calls himself "Zombie" and goes around Berkeley and San Francisco taking photos of various anti-war demonstrations, but he's currently put up a couple of photos from San Francisco that show buses with ads for Islam.
In my Bay Area days, the buses didn't advertise for Islam, but I occasionally saw signs put up by Sufi Muslims along the beautiful Junipero Serra Freeway that runs up the peninsula from San Jose to San Francisco. Those signs offered converts such things as miracles wrought by true hairs from "The Prophet's Beard," which the Sufi group that had put up the sign supposedly possessed. (Hmmm, I wonder if . . . but let's not get into the ethics of cloning.)
The ad above reveals a much more streamlined appeal, and I have to admit that it's quite straightforward about the meaning of Islam: "Submission." That's precisely what the word "Islam" means in Arabic.
There's some irony in such buses rolling through the Castro District's gay community, despite the resonance of the word 'submission' among some gay subgroups, for the Islamic understanding of "submission" wouldn't go over well if shariah were imposed in San Francisco.
Zombie notes that this proselytizing bus-ad campaign is sponsored by CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), which usually presents itself as a civil rights group, and the ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America), which is "noteworthy":
Why is this noteworthy? Because ICNA is not your run-of-the-mill Muslim group, but rather is the North American branch of Jamaat-e-Islami, the fundamentalist Pakistani political party whose goal is the imposition of sharia law, and who are closely affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the primary fonts of Islamic fundamentalism in the modern world.Jamaat-e-Islami is not the sort of organization that most San Franciscans would care to see in power . . . not that this is about to happen anytime soon in the Bay Area, of course.
I suppose that I should clearly state here that I have no objection to religions advertising themselves -- so long as such religions have no objection to critical scrutiny.
So, let's scrutinize.
Zombie asks if people in other cities have seen these bus ads. Well, I can unequivocally state that I've seen none in Seoul . . . but I do recall hearing something about such ads in London.
Perhaps my London readers can confirm this?