WhyIslam, an outreach organization with a 24/7 hotline (877- WhyIslam) for those looking for answers to their questions on Islam, recently launched a project with the goal of purchasing a billboard in downtown Atlanta to display encouraging words for individuals, specifically youth, to reach out to WhyIslam with their questions on Islam or simply learn more about the faith.
The decision was made after an “ex-Muslims” group posted a billboard encouraging vulnerable Muslim youth to reject Islam. In order to combat such negativity with positivity, WhyIslam began fundraising for a billboard of their own to be displayed on January 27th, and quickly found an overwhelming amount of support, leading them to achieve their goal.
WhyIslam works to initiate a dialogue with those who are curious about Islam in order to minimize the fear and reluctance that often comes with a lack of knowledge. Through booths at county fairs, book fairs, and Islamic conventions, the organization has effectively reached out to people of different walks of life, inviting them to visit mosques, have one-on-one conversations, and reach out to the organization to take part in their open-house events.
Br. Rizwan Anwar of the organization emphasizes the significance of having access to a reliable source on Islamic information, especially for the youth, as the internet “does not understand the emotions, the mentality of the person” and has the potential to misguide or bring about harm to an individual searching for answers. He expresses that WhyIslam, therefore, works to encourage individuals to go out and sit with someone of the organization and have direct conversations if they are able, or call the hotline.
Lastly, Br. Anwar describes a conference at Islamic conventions in Atlanta that the organization holds in December of each year called “Meet Your Muslim Neighbor” which “encourages the non-Muslim to come and see what Muslims are about, what Islam is about”. At the event, they hold an ‘Introduction to Islam’ event followed by a one-on-one Q&A session in which they are free to ask any question, whether it be faith-based or political-climate based.