On November 1, 2011, Amina Sharif, CAIR-Chicago’s Communications Coordinator, spoke to a DePaul University class on Middle-Eastern and Muslim communities in America.
In this interactive presentation, students gained an accurate picture of the Muslim world and the Muslim community in the U.S. by looking at their diversity, socioeconomic levels, education, political views, and views on religious extremism.
“I wanted students to see what the Muslim community is really like, because just looking at the facts and knowing the realities on the ground breaks a lot of stereotypes,” said Sharif.
She talked about the work CAIR-Chicago does in fighting for American Muslims’ civil rights. Sharif discussed the types of discrimination the community faces and the common complaints received at CAIR offices.
Sharif also talked about public perceptions of Islam and Muslims and how they are disproportionately negative. She cited a 2009 Gallup poll that shows 22% of Americans were suspicious of Islam, while 43% admitted to feeling “some” prejudice towards Muslims.
“The class was really receptive, and asked great questions,” added Sharif.
Sharif has been speaking to DePaul Professor Mazen Istanbouli’s class since 2009, and looks forward to doing so again in the future.