Indiana religious leaders say an Indianapolis billboard is “disturbing” and insults the Islamic faith. Faith leaders gathered at the Indiana Interchurch Center Friday to decry the anonymous billboard.
The anonymous billboard located on the east side of Indianapolis along I-465 features the words “The Perfect Man” which Muslim community members say references the Prophet Muhammad, who founded the Islam faith.
The billboard lists bullet points including, “married 6-year-old”, “slave owner & dealer”, and “13 wives, 11 at one time.”
Islamic Society of North America Communications Coordinator Faryal Khatri says positive change will be the result.
“I am thankful to our partners for standing with us and I’d also like to thank those people who put the billboard up, to give us this opportunity to come together and for us to build a better community,” Khatri says.
Charlie Wiles, the executive director for the Center for Interfaith Cooperation, calls the billboard’s message “hateful” and says it incites anti-Muslim violence. He called on all Hoosiers to denounce mean-spirited discourse and stand united.
“These relationships are sacred and when someone from the outside tries to come into our community and distort historical texts and try to create division among us, well that just won’t happen,” Wiles says. “And I think today is a testament of that.”
The words “Educate Truthophobes” line the bottom of the billboard. Leaders Friday urged those responsible for the sign to come forward to have an open discussion.