Have you heard about this ad?
Recently some people were angry about this billboard ad which allegedly features a real U.S. soldier and his Muslim wife. You can see the billboard in the article, as well as the accompanying T.V. spot. Some people were angry that it shows a Muslim married to an American soldier (who it seemingly implies is non-Muslim) as if that is somehow offensive.
I’ll start off by saying that I actually like this ad. It’s great to promote unity and tolerance among people, and I think the ad does that in a nice way (although of course, to capitalize on those emotions to make a personal profit which perhaps diminishes the genuineness of it, but that’s beside the point).
However, I also think that religion deserves criticism – as in the ideas, not people themselves – and that this criticism has helped modern societies evolve into the freer, more advanced cultures they are today. So the real thing I wanted to point out was this:
What is ironic about this ad is that it sends a positive message about religious tolerance by showing a situation (Muslim woman married to a non-Muslim man) that is in direct violation of the religion which it is promoting tolerance for. (See Quran 2:221 that forbids a woman from marrying a non-Muslim)
So to make religion seem rational and harmless, the ideology has to be so stripped down as to portray it as almost nothing but the sort of clothes people wear.
It goes to show that to make religion look good, you need to take almost all the religion out of it. That is a significant point to consider.
Example article showing the ad:
Video from The Young Turks discussing the ad. Also shows the T.V. spot: