(OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 1/26/10) – Some 400 people turned out for Saturday’s sold-out Oklahoma premiere of Unity Production Foundation’s Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think, hosted by the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK) and the Muslim Student Association (OU-MSA) at the University of Oklahoma.
Elected officials, off-duty law enforcement officers, professors, students, faith leaders, and people of a number of faiths came out to watch the film.
“This film helps us in our mission of enhancing understanding of Islam, with the hope of lessening stereotypes of Muslims,” stated CAIR-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi. “It was a true community-wide event, bringing together various partners from the community and the university.”
Inside Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think is the latest documentary by Unity Production Foundation. It provides an eye-opening view of global Muslim opinions on hot topics like terrorism, democracy, women and the West and is based on the findings of a first-of-its-kind opinion poll of the entire Muslim world. For more information, visit www.upf.tv.
Dr. Charles Kimball, Presidential Professor and Director of the Religious Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma delivered the keynote address prior to the film. He also took part in a panel discussion with Dr. Imad Enchassi, Imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City (ISGOC) and Dr. Bruce Prescott, executive director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists.
A survey was conducted following the film. Responses from the audience included:
“[It] needs to be distributed widely. People need to see it!”
“U.S. Media has gravely stereotyped the Muslim community as extremists and terrorists. This film helps to educated Americans about the actual beliefs and values of Muslims and how much we share in common.”
“I was surprised that the film did not skirt the issue of terrorism but addressed it head on.”
“The more we learn about other people and other religions, the more we can truly know how to help them.”
“The most important thing is to not have stereotypical ideas about Muslims and realize that Muslims are very diverse and individualistic and they want much the same things out of life as Americans.”
Co-sponsors of the event included the OU-Muslim Student Association, OU-Religious Studies Department and Club, OU-Middle Eastern Studies Department, Students of University Lutheran (SOUL), ACLU Student Organization, Hindu Student Council, International Affairs Society, Oklahoma Mainstream Baptists, Peace House, Baha’i Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma (ACLU-OK).
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-OK Executive Director Razi Hashmi, 405-248-5853, E-mail: email@example.com; CAIR-OK Chair Michael Aziz Gipson, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR-OK Operations Coordinator Huda Abdul-Razzak, E-Mail: email@example.com; UPF Outreach Manager Daniel Tutt, 202-298-8088, firstname.lastname@example.org