(RNS) The nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization has been earnestly educating Americans for years about Islam while denouncing the growing tide of anti-Muslim bigotry.
But it’s always an uphill battle, so this week the Council on American-Islamic Relations decided to try a little humor instead. The result is the introduction of a spoof medication called “Islamophobin” that seems sure to get more notice than CAIR’s usual campaigns.
Billed as “a multi-symptom relief for chronic Islamophobia,” the over-the-counter medication (well, it’s sugar-free chewing gum actually) is available online and its “maximum strength formula” is designed to treat “blind intolerance,” “unthinking bigotry,” “irrational fear of Muslims” and “U.S. presidential election year scapegoating.”
The ad campaign, launched on Wednesday (May 25), even includes a faux TV commercial that’s funnier (no surprise) than most of those over-hyped Super Bowl spots:
Video courtesy of CAIRtv via YouTube
The product is pitched somewhere between a pain reliever and an erectile dysfunction treatment, but the satirical ad campaign — inspired by an effort by the Muslim community in Sweden — definitely has a serious side.
As the slogan says: “Islamophobin is funny. Islamophobia is not.”
“We hope humor will help create public awareness about the harm Islamophobia does not only to ordinary American Muslims, but also to the values of equality and religious freedom upon which our nation was founded,” said Nihad Awad, CAIR’s executive director.
A press release noted the anti-Islamic rhetoric of Donald Trump — but it didn’t say if they’d sent any Islamophobin to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
The campaign follows the traditional pharmaceutical path so closely that the “medicine” includes warnings that Islamophobin “may result in peaceful coexistence” and a caution about side effects that can include a “loss of Islamophobia and bigotry, development of ability to think rationally, and allowing you to see people for who they really are.”
“Call your doctor if your Islamophobia worsens or Islamophobic feelings return,” it says.