Hundreds of London buses, as well as, public transport in other British cities will carry banner adverts featuring “Subhan Allah”, the Arabic phrase which translates into “Glory be to God”. The move has been taken to highlight the plight of Syrian war victims.
The posters will be seen in hundreds of London buses and also across the country during Ramadan. According to Mail Online, the posters will be there for the entire period of Ramadan which begins on 6 June and will continue till 7 July. London, Manchester, Leicester, Birmingham and Bradford are the cities, which have large Muslim communities and the posters will appear in these cities.
According to Huffington Post, Islamic Relief, the biggest Muslim charity in Britain, is funding for the campaign. The charity argued that the campaign would portray Islam and international aid in a positive way. The organisers are hoping that the campaign will inspire the Muslims to channel their anger over Syrian war into humanitarian efforts.
The UK director of Islamic Relief, Imran Madden said, “in a sense this could be called a climate change campaign because we want to change the negative climate around international aid and around the Muslim community in this country.”
Meanwhile, Christian groups are not very happy with the campaign. They are asking why the Islamic advert had been approved in the first place when a one-minute film created by the Church of England was banned from a popular cinema chain in the country during the Christmas season. Apparently, Odeon, Cineworld and Vue had refused to show an advert featuring the Archbishop of Canterbury and some other people reciting a Prayer in between a film, last December.
Simon Calvert, of the Christian Institute, commented, “People were surprised by the cinema advertising agenda to ban the Lord’s Prayer – something we all grew up with.”
Ann Widdecombe, the former Tory MP, said, “if other religions are allowed to put their religious banners up, then so should Christians.”
The advert will be more effective in London as Half of the Muslim population of the country lives in the city. The newly appointed Mayor, Sadiq Khan is responsible for London’s transport management, pointed Mail Online.
Reportedly, Transport London can ban advert which features political campaign but there are no rules against religious advertising.
There are different responses in social media platforms regarding the advert.