The United States is now at a crossroads with Muslims and the world of Islam, brought about by the “War on Terror”, which has already cost the lives of 1.2 million Muslims, and the US currently has active military operations related to the “War on Terror” in at least six countries.
16 years after the 9/11 attacks, Islamophobia is at an all-time high, even though the mathematical odds of being killed by a Muslim terrorist in the United States are far less than being killed by lightning-strike.
The unsurprising effect of the universal portrayal of Muslim as demented fanatic in all facets of US media has been to normalize radicalism – to conflate the acts of an extremist minority with the non-acts of a vast, moderate majority that is, in actuality, equally if not more so victimized by radical terrorism. By so doing, it is my contention that we have played directly into the hands of terrorist leaders by rendering impotent the most powerful force of Islam – its 1.5 billion strong mainstream moderates.
In a Gallup survey in which Americans were asked what they respected most about Islam, 57% of Americans answered either “nothing” or “I don’t know”.
Our mission is to play the role of peacemaker between non-Muslim Americans and Muslims by
- Breaking down the walls of misunderstanding
- Promoting friendship
- Establishing unity
We will accomplish our mission by:
- Promoting Muslim awareness among non-Muslim Americans.
- Book project – “Why Do They Hate Us?”, by Steve Slocum
- Website and social media
- Creating opportunities for face-to-face interaction between non-Muslim Americans and Muslims.
- Providing cultural exposure travel opportunities.
Core Values and Key Guiding Principles
- Mutual respect
- Nonviolence in all communication and activities
- Dialog, communication, compromise
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person. (Unitarian Universalist church #1)
- Respect for how individual actions affect others
- Diversity in all its forms.
- The empowerment of women as effective leaders in society, fully equal with men
- Love for and protection of planet Earth.
- Change – powerful, lasting personal change to become who we want to be, leading to powerful change in our communities and on a global scale
- Appreciation for cultural expression and the arts