Confused About Muslims? Give One a Call

January 28, 2009

Author: Lindsay Wise

Source: The Houston Chronicle

Ever wonder what the Quran has to say about terrorism? Why Muslim women wear veils? What Islam teaches about Jesus?

Ask a Muslim. All you have to do is call 1-877-WHY-ISLAM.

A billboard advertising the toll-free number sprang up last month on FM 1960 near Interstate 45. Similar ones have also been posted in San Antonio, Dallas, El Paso and two dozen other U.S. cities.

The billboards are part of a nationwide campaign by the Islamic Circle of North America to educate non-Muslims about Islam and promote interfaith dialogue.

Calls to the hot line are answered in New Jersey by ICNA volunteers, who field an average of 1,000 queries a month on everything from the life of the Prophet Muhammad to the definition of jihad. The billboard also advertises a Web site,, where people can e-mail questions, participate in discussion forums, request free copies of the Quran, or schedule a visit to a mosque.

“The idea was to help answer the questions that people have about Islam,” said ICNA board member Hanif Harris, a 38-year-old Realtor from Clear Lake. “This way, they’ll get the answers directly from Muslims.”

See also: Islam, Civic