Meet a Muslim: Combating Stereotypes One Person at a Time

New And Existing Ideas: Meet a Muslim: Combating Stereotypes One Person at a Time




Posted By: Whitestone Foundation

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American Muslim Identity
Education

Meet a Muslim: Combating Stereotypes One Person at a Time

 

What is the 'Ask a Muslim' Event?

‘Ask a Muslim’, also dubbed as 'Meet a Muslim', is an event where people like you set up a table at a public place to allow those who pass by to talk or ask questions to a Muslim. It is not a dawah or debate event, but an opportunity to allow our fellow community members to have casual conversations with Muslims; just like they would with any other human being.  

Inspired by 'This American Life' story on 'Talk to an Iraqi', Sebastian Robbins and Mona Hayder in Massachusetts decided to replicate the concept by initiating a 'Ask a Muslim' event locally. Inspired by their efforts, a group of volunteers in Southern California and Northern California asked to replicate the idea and hosted similar events in their community. 

In all three instances, they saw a positive impact in their effort to break down the stereotypes, one person at a time. With such success, we partnered up with them to create a step-by-step guide for this important initiative for any group of volunteers to replicate in their community. 

You can check out the coverage of 'Talk to an Iraqi' by clicking on the following link: Talk to an Iraqi' NOTE: Viewer discretion is advised, minor inappropriate language is included. 

Why is it Important?

We all know how much Islamophobic rhetoric has increased due to the San Bernardino incident, Paris Attacks, and not to mention the anti-Muslim comments and views made by Presidential candidates. In fact, according to the San Bernardino's Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, anti-Muslim hate crimes have tripled in the U.S. since November 13 Paris Attacks. 

Most Americans haven't even met a Muslim and the fear really comes from never meeting one. We can easily change this. Our community has done amazing interfaith work and that will continue, but this allows us to expand that interfaith work in a different way. This allows us to reach the masses who wouldn't normally come to an interfaith event or even know about the interfaith events happening in their community. 

Media Coverage

Those taking on this initiative have received amazing news coverage already. Check it out: 

1. AJ+'s 'Ask A Muslim' Combats Stereotypes And Anti-Muslim Violence'

2. KPCC's Orange County Muslim group is taking public outreach to the mall

3. San Francisco's 'Lively Meet a Muslim events seek to break down barriers'

 

Accessing the Guide

In order to download the guide and the supplementary resources, please log in. Once you log-in, you will find a downloadable version of the guide and resources to the right of this page in the 'Download' section. 

What Others Say

Check out this khutbah talking about the importance of marketing and putting ourselves out there from Sheikh Yasser Fazaqa of Orange County Islamic Foundation in Mission Viejo, California. 

Building on Experience 

Have you organized a similar event and have something to add? Have you implemented this guide and did something different? We'd love to hear about your experience so we can continue to expand this guide provided. Comment below or contact us at info@thewhitestone.org to share!

 

Contributors: 

•The Haydar-Robbins family in Massachusetts;
•Muslim Volunteers in Southern California;
•Moina Shaiq in Northern California; and
•YOU: Wouldn’t it be great if we see this event happening nationwide? Join us by organizing an ‘Ask a Muslim’ event near you. 

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