Nearly a third of Muslims in the United States are Black. However, “Islam-phobia” – negative images and buzz words that produce stereotyping, physical and verbal attacks, and racial profiling of Muslims of color, including Muslims of African descent – has exploded in this country since the events of September 11, 2001.

“September 11 only heightened the misconceptions about Islam,” Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid pointed out. “Islam-phobia has risen in the post-September 11 era among certain populations in the United States.”

Walid and four other Black Muslims spoke to Black journalists on media perceptions and misperceptions on Islam during the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention in Indianapolis on August 17.

Walid offered as an example a recent incident that occurred during a flight scare that CNN and others reported, which supposedly involved a Muslim woman. “The lady was not a Muslim but a 59-year-old Caucasian”¦ [She] had no matches or Vaseline or letters written in Arabic,” he said. “When you mention the word ‘terrorists,’ the first thing that comes to mind will be Muslim.”


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