US Unveils "Muslim-as-Apple-Pie" Ad Campaign

The US government is using The Rendon Group, advertising whiz Charlotte Beers and others to develop PR and ad campaigns to sway Muslim opinion toward the US. The first ads are being "greeted with skepticism," according to the New York Times. "Rawia Ismail, ...her head covered with an Islamic head scarf, appears in a US government video that will have its first public showing this week on national television here in [Indonesia]... 'I didn't see any prejudice anywhere in my neighborhood after Sept. 11,' says Ms. Ismail. ... The message, in four videos about American Muslims that are to be shown here and in other Islamic countries, is one of tolerance at home and a desire to reach out abroad. ... The theory underpinning the videos, and newspaper ads and radio spots that will accompany them, is that the US is a misunderstood place. Another feature of the broader campaign is a new radio station, Radio Sawa, that broadcasts in the Arab world, playing pop music in Arabic and English and providing top-of-the-hour news from an American point of view. Muslim academics from Asia and the Middle East are also being sent to the United States for study tours."