Sunday, October 21, 2018, Silver Spring, MD – The Muslim Community Center hosted a talk titled: “Understanding and Countering Islamophobia: Context, Causes, Cures, and Effective Strategies,” by Professor Sahar Khamis.
The biggest joy for me was the attendance of youth! That is who needs to hear what is there in store for them, and how to deal with it. Professor Khamis’s presentation was exact, clear and concise.
She urged to focus on social media, she gave several great take away points. Glad to see the children listen to her intently.
Another happy moment came when a gentleman asked the question, Jewish people are committed to social justice, why don’t they do the same for the Palestinian people? Professor Khamis’s response was classic – like the John McCain moment when he said, “No, Madam, Obama is a decent American like me with whom I differ.” She said I work with Jewish Islamic Dialogue Society and several Jewish organizations, it is wrong to assume that Jewish people don’t stand up the rights of Palestinians. We cannot stereotype anyone. The 1.6 billion Muslims are not the same, so are the Jews and others.
I shared my comment that we cannot condemn the folks as Islamaphobes, they are individuals who don’t know about us, and it is our responsibility to correct that. Islamophobia will not go away unless we engage with the people who are apparently opposed to us, we need to get to know them and let them know us. That is what the Quran says in 49:13. If we keep condemning them, not only would we alienate them but, make them dig in their heels. I have worked with people on the extreme right, and they have modified their positions when you “know” them and they “know” you. Sean Hannity on Fox, Varney on Fox, and several others have done that, not 100% but a few notches.
The Book “American Muslims Agenda” will be out by Thanksgiving, here is the info about the book www.AmericanMuslimAgenda.com,
Dr. Mike Ghouse is a public speaker and the founder and President of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him at Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeghouse/