NEW YORK, March 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) announced today a national Shariah education campaign to promote religious freedom and combat Islamophobia. ICNA's campaign, Defending Religious Freedom, Understanding Shariah, will include a 25 city education tour to introduce the Islamic faith to the American public. ICNA is also promoting awareness through a public service announcement campaign, billboards across the country, college campus seminars, radio ads and a national hotline dedicated to addressing questions about Shariah and the Islamic faith.
Outreach has already started, including a seminar in Pittsburgh, billboards and radio ads in Kansas City and public service announcements in San Francisco. The next scheduled event will be in Miami on March 10th, followed by Washington, D.C. on March 27th and Los Angeles on April 17th. More dates will be announced shortly.
The campaign will include these elements:
- Shariah education and interfaith events, town hall forums and activities in 25 cities including New York City, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Miami, Kansas City, Detroit and Hartford
- Billboards in 15-20 cities nationwide including Kansas City, New Jersey, New York (near the Lincoln Tunnel, seen by 120,000 people each day), Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Miami
- 40 national ICNA chapters mobilized, including thousands of volunteers
- National hotline dedicated to answering questions about Shariah and the Islamic faith. The toll-free number is: 1-855-SHARIAH
- A public service announcement campaign distributed and aired in 20 cities nationally
- Seminars on 20 college campuses including George Washington University, Bradley University, George Mason, and University of Delaware in March and April
- Radio ads aired in approximately 20 cities nationally
- Local media outreach by trained spokespeople and leaders from 30-35 ICNA chapters across the country
- ICNA annual convention in Hartford, CT, during Memorial Day weekend, attracting over fifteen thousand people as it did last year
"The First Amendment guarantees religious freedom for every citizen. Muslim Americans are asking for the same fundamental rights to observe Shariah, a component of the Islamic faith, in our personal, familial and religious affairs within the boundaries of the United States Constitution and all local, state and federal laws." says Dr. Zahid H Bukhari, President, Islamic Circle of North America.
In each city visited on the "Defending Religious Freedom, Understanding Shariah" education tour, ICNA plans to hold town hall events that foster positive discourse about religious freedom and the state of Islamophobia in our country. The plan is to clear up common misconceptions about Shariah and the Islamic faith and present the facts through open dialogue with Americans of all faiths.
"ICNA is making an honest attempt to reach out and connect to our fellow Americans and introduce them to our Islamic faith," says Naeem Baig, Vice President of ICNA Public Affairs. "We see it as our responsibility to clarify misconceptions about American Muslims."
To interview ICNA representatives, contact Jillian Nannery at The TASC Group. Phone: 646-723-4344; Email: Jill@thetascgroup.com
About The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
The Islamic Circle of North America is a leading American Muslim organization dedicated to the betterment of society through the promotion of Islamic values. Since 1968, ICNA has worked to build relations between communities by devoting itself to education, outreach, social services and relief efforts. Visit www.defendingreligiousfreedom.com.
SOURCE Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)