Dozens of people gathered at the Cintas Center on the Xavier University campus Sunday afternoon to build bridges – and gain a better understanding of Islam.
The program is a reaction to a phenomenon some are calling “Islamaphobia.”
The fear of Islam, Sunday’s speakers argue, is in part a by-product of ignorance and stereotyping.
But at the Sunday’s program they also say it is influenced by the actions of extremists who commit violence in the name of Islam.
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) put on the event to as they put it move past stereotypes.
But for at least one speaker, today’s message was about a two-way street.
He argues that Muslims in the United States didn’t do enough after 9/11 to reach out to non-Muslims.
“This hasn’t been the thrust of our posture, the remorse and the asking of forgiveness at the cultural level,” explained Dr. Mohamed Nimer, of CAIR.
“No assumption on our part that we’re liable for it, but we should have just acknowledged that this has been a deep wound that we have to participate in healing,” said Dr. Nimer.
The panelists and the Council on American Islamic Relations hope the programs spark improved dialogue around the country between Muslims and non-Muslims.