CAIR-SAN ANTONIO: PANELISTS STRESS UNDERSTANDING TO IMPROVE RELATIONS
A group of about 600 people, mainly composed of students, attended a discussion about U.S.-Muslim world relations, in which the four panel members mentioned that understanding one another is the first step to improving relations.
"The first thing the United States should do is listen," said Vincent Cornell, professor of Middle East and Islamic Studies at Emory University.
"Since we're talking about Islam and American foreign policy today, I think it's important to point out Muslims feel they need to be seen more but I look at it slightly differently. I think Muslims sometimes are seen all too much and seen in the wrong way.
"What Muslims need is to be heard more."
The event, titled "The Future of U.S.-Muslim World Relations," was part of the Hope, Not Hate series, sponsored by Americans for Informed Democracy, a group that works to increase college students' awareness of world issues with events such as town hall meetings, according to the group's Web site. . .
As the number of books written about Islam increased in recent years, Sarwat Husain, another panelist, said she now travels more frequently to speak across the United States.
Husain said the reasons for her speeches about Islam have changed in the past five years.
"Before Sept. 11, it was more about introducing Islam and what Islam is about," Husain said. "It was something I did for pleasure - go talk about my religion, talk about my culture. Now, it is work. Now I have to do it."