A recent study published by the the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center (ADGC) found, among other things, that Muslim Americans condemn violence more strongly than other religious groups.
Gina Cuellar, a 24-year-old psychology student at Cal State San Bernardino is happy that she converted to Islam.
“The qualitative anecdotes are women particularly are converting at a much faster rate, particularly Latinas,” said Ahmed Rehab, media relations director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington.
As many Americans gear up to mark the tenth anniversary of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, one Chicago-based Muslim group warns people should be careful not to give all Muslims a bad rap for the attacks. In the days following 9/11 there were reports across the U.S. of violence toward Muslim-Americans. The group American-Islamic Relations hopes the public has learned more about the Islamic faith’s message of peace since that time.
Chicago Communications Coordinator Amina Sharif presented to a DePaul University class about Middle Eastern communities in the U.S. Sharif’s presentation aimed to give students a broad understanding of the Muslim-American community in terms of its ethnic diversity, socioeconomic levels and political beliefs.
CAIR-Chicago Outreach Coordinater Gerald Hankerson discusses Muslim American involement in this election:
“Even with the election cycle there is much argument and debate whether Muslims should be involved. One way or another we are living here, and our life is being impacted by whether or not we decide to offer our voice and our balance. So most definitely religion may factor into it on certain issues, such as immigration reform, such as protecting first amendment rights, because we definitely want to see that our faith is not impeded for us to be truly considered Americans,”
“For American Muslims, the biggest concern right now is the quality and tone of the debate,” added Rehab. “Whether this debate is on our national security, or our jobs or the economy or even the place of Muslims in America, our concern is that the nature of the debate in America has become more and more divisive, cynical, frenzied, paranoid, and we are very concerned about that and we wish that they debate itself, regardless of the positions people take, to be rooted in more intellect and empirical analysis and honest debate and mutual understanding.”
Civil Rights Director Christina Abraham gave a lecture on the Patriot Act and other national security policies to students at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Abraham discussed how these laws have affected Muslims in America particularly regarding immigration, travel, and relations with law enforcement.
Why must a Muslim person’s faith come up the moment that person breaks through the mainstream in any conceivable way – regardless of relevance or context?
And why does it invariably end up linking that person through multiple degrees of separation to terrorism?
The fact that even a Miss USA could not be spared this exercise in futility puts away any remaining doubt that there is a segment of America that is suffering from a bizarre and unhealthy obsession with Islam.
“The overlying mantra is that we belong here, this is our country, too,” said Ahmed Rehab, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations “That’s something you do not through assertive statement, but assertive action.”
Film Makers from the West Bank and State Department officials will visit the CAIR-Chicago office this upcoming Saturday and Monday. The 3-man news team from Palestine is working on a State Department-supported project titled “Muslim Life in America.”
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