The local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic relations debuted today billboards that promote Muslim patriotism to counter Islamophobia in the months leading up to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The 10 billboards, located along area interstates, read "Proud Americans, Proud Texans, Proud Muslims," and display faces of members of the Houston Muslim community.
One billboard shows Muslims serving in a variety of professions – including a doctor and soldier – and another illustrates interfaith relationships by showing an imam with a Jewish rabbi and Christian pastor.
Houston is the first city to display such billboards, though other markets may adopt the campaign, said Ibrahim Hooper, national spokesman for CAIR.
A grant from private donors enabled the organization to afford the $54,000 cost, said Mustafaa Carroll, director of CAIR-Houston.
The billboards are meant to promote a positive image of local Muslims in response to recent incidents in the community, including two Houston-area mosques that were deliberately set on fire this spring.