UK Poster Campaign: Mohammed Believed in Women’s Rights. Really?

Douglas Murray

But what did Mohammed mean by women’s rights?

This week sees the launch of a hilarious new campaign called “Inspired by Muhammad” (as we are now all expected to spell Mohammed). It claims to want to “improve the public understanding of Islam and Muslims”. It is being strongly pedalled by taxpayer-funded Muslim organisations. Which makes it another nice example of the British people being preached to and proselytized in an Islamic way, presumably at our own expense.

The site is well worth a visit. Its “Who was Muhammad?” section is particularly delicious. There are sections on Mohammed “the orphan”, Mohammed “the shepherd” and Mohammed “the husband”. There are, sadly, no sections on Mohammed “the war criminal” or Mohammed “the close friend of a little girl”.

But the campaign’s aim is clear. It is to alter misconceptions that we are told are held by a woefully ignorant British public by telling us all about Mohammed on buses and tube trains. A YouGov poll has been brought out to coincide with the campaign’s launch. Among its findings are that:

58 per cent of people associate Islam with extremism

50 per cent associate Islam with terrorism

69 per cent believe that Islam encourages the repression of women

Now how on earth could this be? Surely these figures must demonstrate the existence of an anti-Islamic plot! Or it is it perhaps because Islam is indeed very strongly associated with extremism, violence and the repression of women, as an observer of any Islamic society can see?

The campaign posters show British Muslims saying things like: “I believe in protecting the environment. So did Mohammed.” Funniest of all is a woman barrister in a headscarf who fronts the poster: “I believe in women’s rights. So did Mohammed.” Unless, like the female poet Asma bint Marwan, you did something Mohammed didn’t like. (According to various hadiths, he had her killed for criticizing Islam.) Or unless, like his bride Aisha, you were nine years old and he decided, at the age of 52, that it was time to consummate the marriage.

Anyhow – details, details. As far as I’m concerned, people can believe what they want. But once they try to make other people believe it too by advertising in public places, then they will have to get used to having their platitudes critiqued and ridiculed. Contributor Douglas Murray is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist based in London. He has written for numerous publications including the Telegraph, Spectator, Wall Street Journal and Sunday Times. He is a columnist for Standpoint magazine and the Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, a think-tank which studies radicalization and extremism in Britain.

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Posted by on Jun 9 2010. Filed under Women in Islam. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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