'ISIS Sucks' billboard goes up in West Valley

Posted at 12:32 PM, Aug 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-22 22:10:36-04

Muslims in the Valley have a strong message for ISIS, also known as Islamic State or ISIL, that they're sending with a new nationwide billboard campaign.

A billboard proclaiming, "Hey ISIS, you suck!!! From: #ActualMuslims," went up in Phoenix over the weekend over Interstate 10 eastbound near 67th Avenue. 

"People ask, 'Why doesn't your community speak out about ISIS?'" said Dr. Aneesah Nadir, a local spokesperson with Sound Vision, the organization behind the billboard campaign. 

Nadir said the Muslim community often does speak out against the terrorist group, but the message isn't always heard. So now, they're going big.

"What ISIS is doing does not reflect Islam or Muslims in any way, shape or form," Nadir said. 

It's a message local Muslims can echo.

"So it's kind of good to separate the two and be like, 'Hey ISIS, you suck--from, actual Muslims,' because what ISIS pursues and what ISIS stands for is actually not in our religion at all," said Fara Arefi, a community member. 

As a young ASU student, Arefi said defending her religion can get tiring, but she's grateful for the conversation starter.

"We do have to address it because that misconception is there, so we can't just continue our lives and ignore it," she said. 

Nadir expressed that she wants people to know that Islam means peace.

"We're your neighbors, we're your colleagues, we're your classmates, and this is really important to us," Nadir said. 

The campaign started with a billboard in Chicago. The group hopes to have more go up around the country.