American Atheists is now taking their billboard messages directly to the communities that need to hear them the most. Specifically, they’re advertising the Reason Rally and their national convention both in Hebrew (to people in Brooklyn, NY) and in Arabic (to people in Patterson NJ).
Both billboards say, “You know it’s a myth… and you have a choice.” The big words on the left read Yahweh and Allah, respectively. (Not sure about the color combination in that first billboard, but hopefully the Hebrew is easier to read.)
Why those languages? Why those places? A CNN piece explains:
Dave Silverman, the president of American Atheists, said the signs are intended to reach atheists in the Muslim and Jewish enclaves who may feel isolated because they are surrounded by believers.“Those communities are designed to keep atheists in the ranks,” he says. “If there are atheists in those communities, we are reaching out to them. We are letting them know that we see them, we acknowledge them and they don’t have to live that way if they don’t want to.”
“We are not trying to inflame anything,” he continued. “We are trying to advertise our existence to atheist in those communities. The objective is not to inflame but rather to advertise the atheist movement in the Muslim and Jewish community.”
The billboards will be up for one month and cost American Atheists, based in New Jersey, less than $15,000 each, according to Silverman.
Silverman says he expects to put up more billboards in additional languages soon — he also plans to have “extra security” in place for when these billboards go up… you know, just in case.