Symptoms of chronic Islamophobia include thinking one’s neighbor might be a terrorist, and having an overwhelming fear of Muslims that interferes with daily life. Now the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has a simple cure for this malady: a chewing gum named Islamophobin. A mock medicine designed to alleviate symptoms including “blind intolerance, unthinking bigotry, irrational fear of Muslims,” the gum is marketed through a funny spoof medicine ad, and a site.
The campaign is accompanied by a site that explains the benefits and side effects of the product. It recommends, for instance, that consumers stop taking the product if “you begin to develop warm feelings toward Muslims, immigrants, or refugees.” Further, the site warns, “for those who hold bigoted stereotypes of Muslims…use of this product may result in feelings of remorse and/or guilt.”
Explaining the reasoning behind this spoof campaign, CAIR asked, “what better way to dispel the bigotry and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims than through satire?” Indeed, the campaign does a masterful job of framing Islamophobia and unjustified hatred towards Muslims in a way that highlights their underlying absurdity.
Actual packets of Islamophobin gum (actually regular sugar-free chewing gum) are available at CAIR-MAS, a large Muslim convention held in Baltimore on May 28-30.