More than 3,000 people from the US and abroad have signed an online petition created to protest an anti-Muslim billboard erected in St. Augustine Beach, Florida.
The Florida Times-Union reported that 31-year-old Becky Williams created the petition after seeing the billboard, which reads, “Islam Bloody Islam, doomed by its doctrine.”
“Many of us feel like someone has taken the voice of our entire community and blasted it on a billboard in a way that has nothing to do with our own beliefs or feelings,” Williams said.
While the petition has attracted significant support within Florida — including one veteran who wrote, “I did not go to Afghanistan to come home to such misinformed hate” — other signers identify themselves as hailing from countries ranging from Spain to Colombia to India and the United Kingdom.
A local advocacy group, the Islamic Center in St. Augustine, told the Times-Union that it plans to meet with Mayor Rich O’Brien as well as other organizations to discuss the billboard.
“We don’t want someone tomorrow to put up a sign against Christianity or Judaism or white or black,” said Islamic Center member Ayman El-Sawa. “We don’t want this to happen not only to Islam, but to anyone. We don’t want this to happen to our country.”
WJAX-TV reported that St. John’s Outdoor Advertising, which owns the billboard, said that the anti-Islam message was paid for by an individual and not an organization, but did not identify the person responsible.
Watch WJAX’s report, as aired on Monday, below.