Bus adverts to proclaim ‘Glory to Allah’

11 May 2016

Christian Concern’s Director of Islamic Affairs, Tim Dieppe, discusses the ‘Glory to Allah’ bus adverts and shares concerns that have been raised over the charity sponsoring them.

Islamic Relief is launching a bus advert campaign across major cities in the UK with the slogan “Subhan Allah”, meaning “Glory to Allah” in Arabic. The adverts will be displayed on hundreds of busses in towns with large Muslim populations: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leicester and Bradford. The campaign is timed to coincide with Ramadan which starts on 7 June. The aim is to encourage Muslims to donate to support victims of the Syrian civil war – a war caused by Islam.

Seven years ago Richard Dawkins sponsored atheistic bus adverts with the slogan “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” These adverts served to highlight the rising confidence of atheism at that time. Now it is Islam that is entering into the public sphere with a new level of boldness. Islamic Relief aims to raise money from these adverts as well as challenge people’s perceptions of Islam. It is striking that Islamic Relief considers it financially worthwhile to run bus adverts aimed at Muslims in these major cities. This serves as a sign of the significant influence that Islam now has in Britain.

Concerns have been raised about the charity sponsoring the adverts. Islamic Relief Worldwide is the largest international Islamic charity in the world with income of £182m in 2014. HSBC recently cut off relations with Islamic Relief on concerns that some of their donations may end up funding terrorism. Previously UBS had also cut off ties with the charity. In 2014, United Arab Emirates placed Islamic Relief on a list of terrorist organisations. Also in 2014, the Israeli government banned Islamic Relief from operating in Israel, stating that they are funding terrorism group Hamas. This came after the arrest of a British Islamic Relief official in Israel in 2006 after which the Israeli government cited incriminating evidence of Hamas links. In response to these claims, Islamic Relief carried out an independent investigation in 2014 which found “no evidence of links to terrorism.” Islamic Relief has not published this report or the name of the independent auditor or the methodology used. In a statement to media in December 2014, Israeli security agency Shin Bet said that the decision to declare Islamic Relief Worldwide illegal was “based on information that has been accumulated over years, that the fund is a central player in financing of Hamas”. The Charity Commission has so far declined to investigate the charity over these claims.

Christian Concern is launching a new book by former Islamic jurist Sam Solomon next month with the title “Not the Same God.” This book makes very clear that Allah of the Qur’an is very different to the Lord God of the Bible in many highly significant ways. These adverts, then, are not glorifying the God of Christianity, but glorifying Allah who stands in opposition to the Christian God. Many Muslims may not be aware that the Qur’an presents Allah as a non-relational, fundamentally unknowable, discriminatory God, who endorses violence against non-Muslims. This is the god these bus adverts are glorifying.

These Islamic Relief adverts will visibly demonstrate the influence of Islam on the streets of Britain. It is clear that Islam seeks to expand its influence on our culture, in spite of its discrimination against women and its intolerance of any criticism of Muhammad. It is time for Christians to stand up to the claims of Islam and demonstrate their falsity. Allah is not the Christian God. Christianity has provided the moral foundation of our society, not Islam. We need to glorify the God of the Bible on our streets, not Allah.

  • Share

Related articles

All content has been loaded.

Take action

Join our email list to receive the latest updates for prayer and action.

Find out more about the legal support we're giving Christians.

Help us put the hope of Jesus at the heart of society.