America has always been a melting pot, but in the post-9/11 world the environment can be downright hostile. Radio talk show hosts, pundits and politicians utter statements about Islam and Muslims that if they were to say the same about other religious groups, they would face severe consequences. This hateful discourse leaves me wondering how I can respond in a way that is constructive and doesn't simply perpetuate the shouting and hate speech.
A 2010 TIME poll reported that 62 percent of Americans claim to have never met a Muslim. This left me wondering: What about those Americans that do know a Muslim? How can can they effectively respond to this climate of fear and hostility towards Muslims?
A new online project, "My Fellow American," enables people of all faiths and backgrounds to share a story about a Muslim they know personally. (More.)