Anti-Islam slurs mar billboard about Sikhism

A billboard designed to educate drivers on Interstate 78 about Sikhism, an Indian religion that Americans often confuse with Islam, has been removed after it was marred by profanity aimed at Muslims.

“Arabs go to hell,” someone wrote across the billboard in black, along with “Jesus Saves,” “Hell Yeah USA” and a four-letter expletive directed at “Alah.” Muslims pray to Allah, which is Arabic for God.

The vandalism in Berks County came as midstate police were investigating threatening letters and e-mails sent to Muslims in the Harrisburg and York areas. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission said Friday there have been “at least seven” such messages in the past two months.

The billboard proclaimed, “Sikhism. Freedom, Equality, Justice. One God,” alongside an image of a man in the broad turban that Sikh men use to wrap the hair they never cut.

The Patriot-News, 4 October 2006