Signs containing a simple message about Islam’s views on women are causing some major confusion in Massachusetts.
According to WHDH-TV in Boston, the pieces of paper went up around suburban Winchester sometime before Wednesday morning.
The flyers, which were torn down by an offended resident, boldly proclaimed, “Islam is right about women.”
Despite the seemingly pro-Islam message, many residents of the liberal state were not happy with whoever put the papers up.
“I think it’s disgusting,” one woman told WCVB-TV in Boston. “It’s unsettling.”
Anita Davison, the woman who discovered the flyers, quickly alerted police, WHDH reported.
A total of 10 were found altogether around the city.
“It’s either about women, it’s either about Islam, it’s about both, I’m not really sure what point they were trying to make,” Davison told WCVB. “But either way, it was terrible.”
She encouraged anyone else seeing such posters to take them down.
“Most people have been supportive of the decision to take them down,” Davison said. “Others have said that I’m not for free speech, but I really am. I just feel like that was on the side of hate speech.”
Although it appears some residents are unaware that freedom of speech exists even if what was said hurts someone’s feelings, the signs left many confused.
Some thought the signs were an attack on Islam, a religion with a holy book that makes it clear that there should be separation between men and women.
Others thought they were a dig against women, saying the restrictive nature of Islamic doctrine is necessary.
“That kind of sign is very upsetting to anyone with either an Islamic background or for many women,” Felicity Tuttle of the Winchester Multicultural Network told WCVB.
The posters raise interesting questions. Many consider them hate speech now, but what if the opposite were said? How much outrage would there have been if the posters had said, “Islam is wrong about women”?
While it’s unclear exactly who put the signs up or what his or her intentions were, the confused and contradictory reaction may have been exactly what he or she was angling for.
Police are still investigating, but it seems unlikely at this point that any crime was committed.
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