PHOENIX — Billboards are no strange sight to drivers in the Phoenix area, but one taking an aggressive stance on the Islamic State is turning a few heads.
Sound Vision, a Chicago-based nonprofit public relations organization, took credit for erecting a billboard near 67th Avenue and Interstate 10 that reads simply: “Hey ISIS, you suck!!!”
The billboard is part of Sound Vision’s message that most Muslims do not agree with the extremist teachings of ISIS.
“A group of American-Muslim professionals organized like-minded, concerned Muslims to raise funds for this campaign,” Mohammad Siddiqi, executive director of Sound Vision, said in a press release. “These are common folks, and the billboard is their declaration of independence from ISIS.”
A Phoenix spokeswoman for the group, Aneesah Nadir, said the billboard is intended to make it clear that most Muslims regard ISIS as a “hate group.”
“I’m a diversity educator and trainer and one of the questions we always get is ‘Why don’t the Muslims speak out against ISIS and these other hate groups?’ We do, but nobody ever hears us,” she said.
Nadir said she hopes the billboard raises awareness among people who do not typically associate with Muslims.
“It will help them to understand because I think that many people do not know Muslims, they don’t know enough about Islam and they don’t have any Muslims to talk with,” she said, adding that the billboard has been met with positive reactions.
Phoenix is only the second market to see the billboard. The first was put up in Chicago. Nadir said the city was chosen because it has a healthy Muslim community and local Muslim leaders support the message.
KTAR’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report.