Billboard on 465 Says Founder of Islam was a Slave Owner and Rapist
RTV6 Contributed to this story.
INDIANAPOLIS--A billboard that has been put up on the side of the interstate in Indianapolis that calls the Prophet Muhammad a rapist and a slave owner has some Muslims upset. That includes one Indiana lawmaker and a number of Muslim leaders.
"We saw the comedian Kathy Griffin, she posted something that was horrible," said Rima Shahid, executive director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana. "She crossed a line and this is as bad or worse for us."
It was unclear who paid for the billboard. The term "Educate Truthophobes" is at the bottom. "Truthophobes is an Australian group dedicated to publishing anti-Islamic materials.
"I think it fans the flames of Islamaphobia," Rep. Andre' Carson told RTV6. He is a Muslim. "I think we're living in perilous times where you have presidential leadership that has been polarizing. It has demonized Muslims and when I spoke to him personally, my request to him was to walk back his language."
"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," said Shahid. "To have an attack on all Muslims during this period is very disheartening."
Faryal Khatri, with the Islamic Society of America, Indiana chapter, said people should get to know one another.
"It's our holy month of Ramadan right now, so we have dinners frequently at our mosques."
She said she encourages people to come visit.
"It's really about getting to know each other, getting to know who Muslims really are because you really can't hate someone you know," said Khatri.