CAIR-Chicago’s Outreach Coordinator Gerald Hankerson joined the Elgin community at an event themed “Who is my Muslim neighbor?” on Sunday, May 19th.
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.”
Why do Westerners succumb to anti-Muslim fear? It’s a natural reflex — certainly what terrorists expect when they claim their acts are in the name of Islam. They want to drive a wedge between the cultures, lest a harmonious blending undercut their extremism and deprive them of the enemy they crave. It’s a partnership, the terrorists and the fear-mongers, working in harmony and tacit agreement.
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