Imagine a major television network promoting an evangelical organization keen to convert the entire country, all in the name of preventing hate against a religion. For the USA Network, fighting Islamophobia means promoting WhyIslam, the "project" of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), dedicated to spreading the group's take on Islam among all non-Muslims.
USA Network, a division of NBC Universal, ran the ad in April about religious intolerance, a real problem in America, and linked its campaign to WhyIslam. "American Muslims are victimized everyday because of misinformation about their religion," the ad said. "Get authentic information about Islam by calling 1-877-WhyIslam or visit whyislam.org." A USA Network spokesman did not respond to a request for comment for this article.
The ad features actor Matt Bomer of USA Network's "White Collar" program offering a general, feel-good statement about tolerance. "Lately it seems that religious intolerance has been growing," he says. "And while we can disagree about the past and we can argue about the future, we're all here now. Together. And together we all have the same basic right to hold and practice our own beliefs."