American Atheists has its annual convention this Easter weekend in Memphis, Tennessee. They’ve already purchased a couple of billboards to advertise the gathering, leading to controversy after the initial billboards were rejected for including the words “Easter” and “church.”
By Hemant Mehta|Friendly Atheist
But their latest billboard, aimed at ex-Muslims (who can read Arabic), should receive a whole different kind of reaction:
The billboard features a young girl wearing “bunny ears” with accompanying text reading, “An atheist convention featuring Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Easter weekend? Looks like we’re skipping mosque again!” and with details about the convention. A similar billboard in English was on display from March 3-10 in Memphis.
“Memphis has a thriving Muslim community, and in such communities closeted atheists can feel completely alone,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “Our message is that you are not alone, and you don’t have to pretend anymore. Atheism is the fastest growing religious demographic in America and we throw fun, welcoming conventions; the largest of which is coming to your city in just two weeks.”
In case you’re wondering how this billboard made it past the advertising company despite including the words “Easter” and “church,” AA says they went through a different company for this campaign. (Also, you have to figure Christians won’t raise a fuss over something they don’t know how to read.)
And given that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the headliner, the ex-Muslim interest could be very high.
It’s not the first time AA has purchased a billboard written in Arabic, by the way. They did it in Patterson, New Jersey in 2012 to promote the Reason Rally and their conference: