August 1, 2019
Issue: Fighting Bigotry
Will Allison Outdoor Billboards Take Down Sign Encouraging Gun Violence Against Congresswomen?
Company Hosted Anti-Muslim Billboards for Years, Appears to Backtrack on Commitment to Remove Sign
WASHINGTON, DC — The following is a statement issued today from Muslim Advocates Public Advocacy Director Scott Simpson following news reports stating that Allison Outdoor Advertising may be backtracking on a prior commitment to take down a billboard that invites gun violence against Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. Muslim Advocates continues to encourage supporters to send emails to Allison Outdoor Advertising and Cherokee Guns asking them to take the billboard down immediately:
“People have been sounding the alarm about this billboard for days and it is still up. Allison Outdoor Advertising acknowledged the problem and stated on Facebook that the billboard would come down but failed to provide a clear timeframe. That post has since been deleted and all evidence indicates that the billboard is still up.
This billboard puts the lives of these congresswomen in immediate danger by labeling the four women as harbingers of the apocalypse and then invites people to purchase guns ‘1 mile [ahead] on right.’ It must come down immediately. But that’s just the first step. In order to ensure the company is not spreading anti-Muslim threats, Allison Outdoor Advertising needs to create a clear policy around calls to violence and bigotry on its 1,200 billboards. Recent news reports have also uncovered that Allison and Cherokee Guns have worked together on multiple anti-Muslim advertisements for years. These signs have even gone viral in the past. Allison already knew about this gun shop’s bigotry but not only did the advertising company allow it to continue, it has also endorsed this bigotry by continuing to place these ads.
The congresswomen targeted by the billboard have already received multiple, credible death threats inspired by similar rhetoric and attacks. In fact, someone has already been charged for an assassination threat against Congresswoman Omar where the suspect said ‘I’ll put a bullet in her f—ing skull.’ It is reckless to treat members of Congress like this. The assassination attempt that wounded Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was only a few years ago.
Food festivals and houses of worship are being shot up by white nationalists and this billboard invites more violence. Allison Outdoor Advertising must take the billboard down and Cherokee Guns must stop its dangerous, anti-Muslim attacks before the worst happens.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.