It seems that many people are offended by this photo on a billboard of an American soldier hugging a Muslim woman in a niqab, a traditional Muslim covering. And each of the offended people have their own different reason. On Twitter, people have called it head-turning and controversial, while in Britain a writer for The Guardian calls it racist.
The photo features a real soldier and his girlfriend, according to a San Diego TV station, and the ad is inspired by a real married couple, according to the website of SnoreStop, the company using the ad.
The ad is selling a throat spray that is supposed to help people stop snoring and thus keep them “together.”
Here are some “comments from the public” posted on the company’s website:
“For some people it’s just too soon. The tragedy of 9/11 is still so fresh in people’s minds and now we’re being told we have to accept the enemy being a part of our lives and culture.”
“I’m not racist, but I feel like they’re trying to shove this ‘political correctness’ thing down our throats.”
Not all comments are negative, one we found on Twitter from user @loveinheadscarf said: “Thumbs up for challenging stereotypes: US billboard ad features soldier and Muslim woman in niqab
And the soldier featured in the ad has responded to the controversy, saying on his Facebook page “I did this because I am no stranger to other people’s discrimination,” according to the San Diego TV station.
We did a little digging on his Facebook page and he does appear to be a soldier. We saw pictures of him in uniform with E-4 rank, including one where he is tagged as being at “Camp Roberts Army National Guard.”
So, perhaps another question people should be asking is: Why is an American soldier using his uniform in an ad campaign for a commercial company?
According to AR 670-1 “Wearing Army uniforms is prohibited in the following situations:
(1) In connection with the furtherance of any political or commercial interests, or when engaged in off-duty civilian employment.”
Does the Billboard offend you? And if so, why? Leave your comments below.