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(Mostly) Positive Feedback to Muslim AJC Ad

(Mostly) Positive Feedback to Muslim AJC Ad

Author Edward Ahmed Mitchell by

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CBS 46

Readers who picked up a copy of Friday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution found a surprise on page A15: a full-page advertisement from Georgia’s Muslim community.

Signed by over 20 mosques and Islamic organizations, the press release condemned the San Bernardino terrorist attack, announced that American Muslims had raised over $100,00 for its victims, and encouraged Georgians to visit their local mosques to learn about mainstream Islam.

So far, feedback to the advertisement has been (mostly) positive.

Several readers, including a politician and a retired professor, merely expressed thanks for the message. Others wanted to schedule a visit to their local mosque. One, a teacher, requested Islamic literature for her students.

“Your full page add in the AJC this morning is moving,” one Atlanta reader wrote. “Thank you and your faith community for that.”

Another reader shared similar thoughts.

“I believe this kind of expression from the Islamic community is exactly what Americans need to be exposed to so as to address their suspicions, prejudices and fears,” the reader said. “There is, of course, nothing that will change the minds of millions of hard-core bigots who mindlessly support demagogues such as Donald Trump. But you're trying, and God bless you for that.”

Only two readers delivered critical responses. One said the statement did not go far enough in condemning terrorism.

“Non-Muslims will continue to view all Muslims with unease or even hostility until we can clearly see that the moderates among you have taken an unequivocal stand against those Muslims who pursue violence and that you are acting to root them out,” the critical reader wrote. “You must make this position abundantly clear. Your ad on Friday falls far short of this goal.”

The other critical reader left a rambling voicemail that ended with praise of Donald Trump.

CBS 46 News responded to the AJC advertisement by scheduling a visit to Roswell Community Masjid, where it interviewed Imam Arshad Anwar and other members of the community, as well as a non-Muslim who said the AJC advertisement made him interested in visiting his local mosque.

Organizers of the press release plan to continue fielding responses, directing readers interested in visiting a mosque or learning Islam to relevant sources.

Signatories to the AJC advertisement included: 

Al-Farooq Masjid
Omar Bin Abdulaziz Masjid
Roswell Community Masjid
Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam
Madina Institute
Islamic Center of Middle Georgia
West Cobb Islamic Center - Masjid Al-Furqan
East Cobb Islamic Center
Masjid Jafar
Masjid Al-Rahman
Hamzah Islamic Center
Suwanee Musallah
Masjid Al-Ihsan
Masjid Al- Momineen
The Islamic Society of Atlanta, Inc.
Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta
Islamic Center Duluth-Masjid Maryam
Islamic Community Center of Atlanta
Masjid Al-Mu'minun
CAIR Georgia
Islamic Community Center of Atlanta
Masjid Al-Mu'minun
Community Masjid of Atlanta
Council of Masajid of Metropolitan Atlanta

Edward Mitchell is an attorney who serves as Copy Editor of and previously worked as a freelance reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Islamic Community Center of Atlanta. Edward received his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College and his graduate degree from Georgetown University Law Center, where he served as president of the law school's Muslim Students Association. Follow him on Twitter @edmovie.

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