Panel Stresses Communication as Cure for ‘Islamophobia’ – CQ Homeland Security

The solution to combating the complex problem of Islamophobia lies as much with Muslim-American communities and popular media as government officials and think tanks, a group of experts said Monday.

The progressive Center for American Progress hosted a discussion on the topic as part of an effort to separate real from perceived threats, moderator Faiz Shakir said.

Shakir, a vice president at the think tank, said a dearth of interaction between U.S. Muslims and other demographic groups has allowed paranoia and a politicized anti-Islamic narrative to fill the void in the public’s knowledge about one of the world’s great religions. The Muslim-American community has a major role to play in clearing up widespread misconceptions that have arisen, panelists said.

“One of the most fascinating statistics, which I’m always amazed by . . . is that 50-60 percent of Americans don’t know a Muslim,” said Wajahat Ali, an author and attorney. “They don’t have a Muslim friend they don’t have any Muslim they can talk to about Islam.”

  • Selrom

    Communication will not cure Islamophobia, mainly because there are so many reasons to fear, if being told the whole truth about Islam, as explicitly written in the Koran. Look at any religion and you'll find negatives, both in the writings and in demanded behavior as a believer. The difference between Islam and the others though, is that Islam has built-in demand of violent action commended as a must-do. Yes, you'll find mild, peace-related surah in the Koran, but not many know that what counts faith-wise, is what the later surah in the same Koran say: it demands believers to use violence.

    If communication is the cure, how come that after 9/11 we haven't seen or heard even one Muslim organization, think tank, or leader – not to mention all those well spoken Imams who now keep admonishing us, calling us Islamophobics – stand up and speak; why haven't we seen demonstrations and anti-Jihadist preaching?

    Where were all the CAIR and other Islamic organizations before and after 9/11, beside blaming the American people of bringing it upon themselves, and why have we seen instead, repeated bursts of joy and happiness, endorsed by Muslim leaders, every time a new tragedy involving the horrific death of innocent Americans occurred?

    Is better communication the answer? just take a look at how communication help terror organization to spread their vile ideology. Even if only a 1/4 of a percent are involved in Jihadi activities, the vast majority of Muslims are not voicing their resentment, or actively do something to counter them. Ask yourself why 99.9% of the global terror and security problems involve Muslims and Islam. Would just better communication provide a solution?

    Think tanks, in their Ivory Towers, work their magic solutions mostly out of touch and with a defined purpose, intended to meet the specific goals of that specific organization. So when I'm being told that this or that think tank came up with a solution to an eternal problem, which what radical Islam is, I can't but say to myself, “here they go again”.

    As someone that has experience in both sides of the court, I believe that instead of communications, we should all focus in combating the Jihadi global movement first, and be American first. Then, better communication will happened, no need for think tanks to write the instructions or priorities for it.