The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) has launched a Shariah civic education campaign after over a dozen states in the United States of America passed legislation banning judges to enforce or apply Shariah in cases of civil disputes involving Muslims.
The campaign that kick started on March 1, 2012, will see ICNA spending 3 million US Dollars in billboards, TV and radio advertisements in 25 major cities in the USA through its Defending Religious Freedom campaign, which will explain about the shariah and clear the common misunderstandings to Americans.
Shariah has raised a lot of heated debates in the USA and even the Republican presidential hopefuls have added their voices to the debate.
In a report published by The Huffington Post of March 2, 2012, the campaign is a response to efforts to ban Sharia over the last two years in state legislatures and on ballot initiatives. It quotes Naeem Baig, vice president of public affairs for Islamic Circle of North America.
“It’s a small minority of Islamophobes that are pushing the anti-Sharia bills, but it’s becoming mainstream. Now, even presidential hopefuls like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are talking about Sharia,” said Baig. “We see it not only an issue of Sharia but an issue of broader religious freedom.”
According to the Huffington Post, the campaign has already stirred a local backlash such that other opponents have launched a group called Stop the Islamization of Nations and is led by New York-based activist Pamela Geller. The group is also erecting its own anti-Shariah billboards in various cities.