(CLEVELAND, OH, 2/11/2016) â€“ The Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Cleveland) recently presented a forum on Islamophobia to members of the local chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) at the West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River, Ohio. SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing for racial justice.
The forum focused on the historical roots of Islamophobia, its current causes and consequences and how groups like SURJ could help to counter anti-Muslim bias and hate. The forum also highlighted the anti-Muslim bigotry and hateful rhetoric that has permeated the current U.S. presidential campaign.
CAIR-Clevelandâ€™s forum covered topics such as common stereotypes of Muslims and Islam in the media; anti-sharia legislation and foreign law bans; the anti-Muslim inner circle; the role of discriminatory government policies in providing license for those with anti-Muslim agendas; and the disastrous consequences of Islamophobia and its impact on the Muslim community and American foreign policy.
â€œThis was an important opportunity to build linkages between the movement for racial justice and efforts to counter anti-Muslim sentiment,â€ said Julia A. Shearson, executive director of CAIR-Cleveland.Â â€œIslamophobia clearly fits into the broader historical framework of Eurocentricity still prevalent today and as such Islamophobia needs to be unpacked in order to challenge it effectively.â€
â€œReligious intolerance and hate like we are seeing in the current presidential campaign has a negative impact on our political system and our communities,â€ said Bridget Crist, co-coordinator of SURJ Northeast Ohio. â€œAs members of SURJ we wanted to learn more about Islamophobia in order to prepare ourselves to take concrete actions to help the Muslim community during this difficult time.â€
For more information or to arrange a workshop, contact CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia A. Shearson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 216.830.2247 or 216.440.2247 or Hala Sanyurah, 330.858.6948 or email@example.com.
For more information on SURJ, go to showingupforracialjustice.org.
CAIR is America's largest Islamic civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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