The Indian American Bar Association and the Muslim Bar Association of Chicago met at CAIR-Chicago with a diverse group of attorneys, community leaders, activists and other professionals for an interactive discussion on civil rights issues the South Asian American community faces today.
What’s wrong with the way Muslims are portrayed in the media? Where do biases and stereotypes stem from? What does popular culture have to say about Muslim women? CAIR-Chicago communications coordinators Aymen Abdel Halim and Leena Saleh answered these questions and more in a presentation on March 21st at Saint Xavier University.
CAIR-Chicago intern, Becky Fogel, created this audio documentary for Vocalo and Chicago Public Media on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks to share perspectives on the media’s role in harboring Islamophobia. Becky interviewed civil rights activists in the Muslim community and had them share their thoughts on how public perception of Muslims has changed since 9/11.
Rabya Khan met with school officials to convey the importance of presenting balanced perspectives and not perpetuating stereotypes. CAIR-Chicago has requested that the school remove the worksheets, and not use them again or any similar worksheets. Rabya also provided a resource list of organizations that can conduct workshops on Islam, including CAIR-Chicago, and is compiling a list of educational resource companies with balanced materials on Islam and Muslims.
“Alsherbini claims that the targeting practice began after Jan. 2009 when Randy Keller became mayor of the village. On Aug. 27, 2009, under the orders of Keller, Alsherbini was served with a notice to appear for proceedings to revoke his business license, according to the suit.”
A Muslim family was wrongly denied access to an aquatic center in Lyons last summer when employees told them their clothing violated the facility’s rules, state officials said Friday. “This incident is a blatant example of anti-Muslim discrimination,” Christina Abraham, civil rights director for the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement. “Everyone is entitled to the equal enjoyment of public places.”
From Ahmed Rehab’s point of view, however, American culture — including textbooks — routinely vilifies Islam and focuses unduly on the militaristic aspects of the religion.
“Islam has a wealthy history that goes beyond the battles, in the arts and cultures and sciences,“ said Rehab, spokesman for the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR). “There’s this strange attempt to portray anything Islamic as uniquely bad.
“When someone comes along and then speaks the truth, or basically renders an accurate account of reality, then (readers) are shocked and confused because it goes against everything they have heard, therefore it must be a lie. It’s what I call willful ignorance.”
Thank you for printing your Sept. 10 article “Survey: Muslims facea lot of bias,” featuring a Pew Research Center study on growing tolerance by Americans toward Muslims.
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