09:01 GMT +318 November 2019
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    ‘ISIS, You Suck!’: Muslim Group Behind Billboards Popping Up in Major US Cities

    Spreading the Word: ‘ISIS, You Suck’ Campaign Shows Up in St. Louis

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    A protest campaign led by a US multimedia agency, using large billboard ads criticizing Daesh, is spreading.

    A large billboard reading "ISIS, you Suck," accompanied by a quote from the Quran reading, "Life is sacred," now graces the sky over a highway in St. Louis, Missouri. The message, signed with hashtag #ActualMuslims, was created by multimedia group Sound Vision Foundation and sponsored by the St. Louis local Muslim community.

    ​This is the fourth billboard of its kind, preceded by similar expressions in Chicago, Phoenix and Miami, with the first appearing earlier this August.

    According to Sound Vision Foundation, many Muslim communities contacted the agency after the first two appeared, but booking billboard space is neither easy nor cheap in the US. According to Mohammad Siddiqi, the executive director of the multimedia group, a billboard ad costs $3,000 to $6,000 for four weeks, depending upon the market, and can only be set up by a legal entity.

    The Sound Vision Foundation calls itself a "first-ever Muslim multimedia group" and seeks to build "bridges of understanding" between Muslims and other US groups, with a focus on youth. The group says that US Muslims are as offended by Daesh, also known as ISIS, as any other American.

    "We need to let people know that we as are much against [Daesh] as anyone else, if not more," says Tariq Malik, an activist behind the St. Louis billboard.

    "These acts [of jihadist terror] are being done in the name of religion, which really has nothing to do with the religion," he added.

    According to Mohammad Siddiqi, some people in the US consider normal Muslims to automatically be Daesh terrorists, and relentless media coverage of the war in Syria and the spread of Islamophobia does not help.

    "On one hand, we have to deal with radical or extremist view of Islam. On the other hand, we want to also fight against Islamophobia and the multimillion dollar Islamophobia network. On the third front, we think that there is a connection between what's going on here and the ongoing war going on the Middle East," he said.

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    Tags:
    Terrorism, Islamophobia, Muslims, Protest, billboard, Sound Vision Foundation, Daesh, United States, St. Louis, Missouri
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