In light of the Fort Hood killings and recent arrests of suspected radicalized Virginian youths in Pakistan, perceptions of American Muslims have taken a beating lately.
Closer to home, recent vandalism at a Costa Mesa Muslim mosque and an interfaith display in Mission Viejo delivered yet another blow to a community still reeling from the aftermath of 9/11.
The American Muslim community has endured discrimination, mistrust and hostility, said Nour Matar, an Orange County businessman.
That's why he launched what could be the Western world's first English-speaking online Muslim radio station from his studio in Irvine. The 32-year-old hopes the station -- carrying talk shows about almost every aspect of daily life from a Muslim perspective -- will not only improve the well-being of his community but also foster understanding among non-Muslims.
"As a community we feel very frustrated by the misconception and misinformation portrayed by the media," Matar said. "We can understand that there are a lot of bad actions done in the name of Islam. In order for us to combat that we have to let our voice be heard as Muslims Americans living in the U.S."
OneLegacyradio.com can be downloaded as an application on an iPhone, Blackberry or Android, providing listeners with a daily dose of Islamic teachings on everything from weight loss to relationship advice at any time of the day. It even tackles contentious topics, such as the radicalization of Muslim youth…
Community leaders and experts say the station is yet another sign of the growing influence of the county's Muslim community.
"This shows the maturity of the American Muslim community (in Orange County)," said Munira Syeda, spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations' local office in Anaheim. "They're more organized...they're coming of age.'' (More)