Suburban Muslim Group Hopes To Fight Terrorism Through Billboards

The billboards hang over Interstate 290 and I-55 with the message Muslims to Muslims: See Something. Say Something. Save Innocent Lives”

In hopes of fighting terrorism and combating Islamophobia, a suburban Chicago Muslim group is sending a message via two billboards hanging over Chicago highways.

The billboards over Interstate 290 and I-55 carry the message "Muslims to Muslims: See Something. Say Something. Save Innocent Lives." Paid for by members of the Association of Pakistani Americans of Bolingbrook, they follow two other billboards hung in other locations around Chicago earlier this summer, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The founder of the group, Talat Rashid, told the publication the signs aim to "tell average Americans this is who we are, and we do not condone [terrorism]."

While the group believes it is a good initiative, some Chicago-area Muslim leaders are not fully on board, according to the Tribune.

Chariman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago Mohammed Kaiseruddin called it "vague," noting it doesn't mention what type activity people should report and who they should report it to. 

Officials at the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management requested that Kaiseruddin promote the billboard slogan but he reportedly refused. Kaiseruddin said the slogan creates a sense of hypervigilance that could lead people to report those who are innocent.

The Association of Pakistani Americans of Bolingbrook reportedly paid almost $7,600 in advertising fees to use the billboard for four weeks. Members of the association believe the message is a proactive way to educate the public about the difference between Muslim beliefs and extreme radical ideas, according to the Tribune.

About 400,000 Muslims call home to the Chicago area, according to Kaiseruddin. 

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