One of the more unfortunate outcomes of the anti-mosque protests, anti-sharia legislation and the impact of the Islamophobia network is that they have left many Americans confused about the truth of Islam and Muslims in America. According to the Public Religion Research Institute's recent findings, few Americans report having much knowledge about who Muslims are and what Islam is all about. Only 14 percent of Americans say they know a lot about the religious beliefs and practices of Muslims, and 57 percent say they know only a little.
In the same study, however, a majority of Americans claimed that American Muslims are an important part of the religious experience in America, even though a majority do not know a Muslim personally. What all of this makes very clear is that everyday Americans are hungry for credible information about Islam and Muslims in America.
In the wake of events such as the Florida man charged with plotting attacks to avenge Muslims, clarifying questions about radicalization and terrorism are of crucial importance.
How many American Muslims support terrorism, and what are they doing to stop it? Do Muslims want to impose sharia in America, and is sharia compatible with the U.S. Constitution? Rarely, if ever, do Americans get an opportunity to hear from Muslims or credentialed experts to get these questions answered.
In an effort to shed some light and promote facts, not fear, a coalition of organizations are hosting a free, open-to-the-public event at the Newseum entitled: "What is the truth about Islam in America: Everything you've always wanted to know - but were afraid to ask"
The event will be streamed on the My Fellow American website, a new social media project designed to share stories via YouTube about American Muslims, and questions can be submitted to
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum, Unity Productions Foundation, Wesley Theological Seminary, the Institute for Faith and Politics and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding will host the timely discussion, "What is the Truth About Islam and Muslims in America?: (Everything You Always Wanted to Know -- But Were Afraid to Ask)."
Alex Kronemer, executive producer of Unity Productions Foundation, will welcome guests.
Haroon Mogul, Columbia University, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding
Rabbi Marc Schneier, Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
Melissa Rogers, Center for Religion and Public Affairs, Wake Forest University
Asma Uddin, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding
Charles C. Haynes, director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum, will moderate.
RSVP: Admission is free, but registration is required. To RSVP or for information, please contact Ashlie Hampton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-292-6288.
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