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5 Common Stereotypes About Muslims, Debunked

1. Muslims hate Jews and Christians


Lets get this one out of the way. Many people think Muslims are an exclusive,
extremist group that has a holier-than-thou attitude towards non-Muslims. This idea
perpetrates another idea that Muslims are instructed to believe that Jews and
Christians specifically are to be hated and killed in the name of Islam and/or in the
name of God. This is false, and there are multiple chapters in the Quran that
mention non-Muslims:
You will never enter Paradise until you believe. And you will not believe until you
love one another. Certainly, I shall guide you to something that, if you do it, you will
love one another: Spread the greetings (of peace) among yourselves. (Muhammad)
Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans
[before Prophet Muhammad] - those [among them] who believed in Allah and the
Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear
will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.(Quran 2:62)
Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do
not expel you from your homes - from being righteous toward them and acting
justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. (Quran 60:8)
O mankind! We created you from a male and a female and made you into nations
and tribes that you may know and honor each other (not that you should despise
one another). Indeed the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the most
righteous. (Quran 49:13).
For you is your religion, and for me is my religion. (Quran 109:6)
While the gory videos all over the Internet show ISIS members brutally beheading
Arab Christians and other Christians, Muslims are not encouraged, taught, or
instructed to partake in any sort of violent behavior, or self-harm. While you can
analyze every verse and phrase in the Quran and find examples of violence, the
same can be done with the Bibles Old Testament. The most important thing to
remember, however, is the Quran is the Quran and there are no old and new parts.
It was written over a thousand years ago, and the political situation in Mecca over a
thousand years ago was taken into account.
2. Muslims hate LGBTQ
Like Christianity, homosexuality is considered a sin in Islam. Interestingly, the
Golden Age of Islam had almost no punishments for homosexuality. It was illegal for
men to have any type of sexual relations with other men, but without four eye
witnesses, they could not be punished. Modern Muslim countries have completely
outlawed homosexuality; homosexuals are killed with or without evidence. However,
the five Muslim countries that have not outlawed homosexuality are the five Muslim
countries that were not colonized by the British. Todays Islamic view on
homosexuality is one that is veiled by cultural stigmas, rather than religious ones.
The most important thing in Islam is to love one another; this was proven through
the imam at Omar Mateens mosque who spoke out against the Pulse nightclub
killings.
While it is true that many Muslims are against homosexuality, they are supposed to
treat everyone the same. Additionally, transgender people in Pakistan are slowly
being recognized.
3. Muslims dont believe in Jesus Christ or God
This is usually something people dont know, but Jesus (Isa, in Arabic) is actually
mentioned more times in the Quran than Muhammad. Muslims do believe in Jesus,
but only as a prophet, not as the son of God. Additionally, Muslims do believe in
God, but call God Allah, which is the Arabic word for God. Many Arab Christians
also refer to God as Allah.
4. Muslims wear turbans
This seems foolish to point out, but Sikhs wear turbans. Muslim women wear hijabs,
and some Arab Muslim men wear a headpiece called keffiyeh or shamagh or
ghutrah depending on your location in the Middle East.
5. Islam promotes groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS
ISIS most closely follows the ideals of Wahhabism and Salafism, which are extremist
and radical branches of Islam. By best estimates, 87-90 percent of Muslims are
Sunni and 10-13 percent are Shia, with small numbers belonging to other sects
(Demographics of Islam). If we go with these statistics, its safe to assume that
Salafism and Wahhabism are less than five percent of the global Muslim population,
and most likely does not represent the beliefs, thoughts, opinions, or actions of
other Muslims. Additionally, Islam was not meant to have sects. However, Islam
does not promote, nor does it encourage, joining radical groups. If you see stories of
how people get radicalized, its usually through ISIS members themselves on radical
jihadist forums.
I truly hope that one day we wont have to worry about the safety of the world, and
for each other. However, it is important to stand strong and stay strong against
forces like ISIS, and be kind to one another.
TOP TEN MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT ISLAM
By Huma Ahmad
MISCONCEPTION #1: Muslims are violent, terrorists and/or extremists.
This is the biggest misconception in Islam, no doubt resulting from the constant
stereotyping and bashing the media gives Islam. When a gunman attacks a
mosque in the name of Judaism, a Catholic IRguerrilla sets off a bomb in an urban
area, or Serbian Orthodox militiamen rape and kill innocent Muslim civilians, these
acts are not used to stereotype an entire faith. Never are these acts attributed to
the religion of the perpetrators. Yet how many times have we heard the words
'Islamic, Muslim fundamentalist. etc.' linked with violence.
Politics in so called "Muslim countries" may or may not have any Islamic basis.
Often dictators and politicians will use the name of Islam for their own purposes.
One should remember to go to the source of Islam and separate what the true
religion of Islam says from what is portrayed in the media. Islam literally means
'submission to God' and is derived from a root word meaning 'peace'.
Islam may seem exotic or even extreme in the modern world. Perhaps this is
because religion doesn't dominate everyday life in the West, whereas Islam is
considered a 'way of life' for Muslims and they make no division between secular
and sacred in their lives. Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in
defense of religion, or on the part of those who have been expelled forcibly from
their homes. It lays down strict rules of combat which include prohibitions against
harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees and livestock.
NOWHERE DOES ISLAM ENJOIN THE KILLING OF INNOCENTS..
The Quran says: "Fight in the cause of God against those who fight you, but do not
transgress limits. God does not love transgressors." (Quran 2:190) "If they seek
peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that heareth and
knoweth all things." (Quran 8:61) War, therefore, is the last resort, and is subject to
the rigorous conditions laid down by the sacred law. The term 'jihad' literally
means 'struggle'. Muslims believe that there are two kinds of jihad. The other
'jihad' is the inner struggle of the soul which everyone wages against egotistic
desires for the sake of attaining inner peace.
MISCONCEPTION #2: Islam oppresses women.
The image of the typical Muslim woman wearing the veil and forced to stay home
and forbidden to drive is all too common in most peoples thoughts. Although some
Muslim countries may have laws that oppress women, this should not be seen as
coming from Islam. Many of these countries do not rule by any kind of Shari'ah
(Islamic law) and introduce their own cultural standpoints on the issue of gender
equity.
Islam on the other hand gives men and women different roles and equity between
the two is laid down in the Quran and the example of the Prophet (peace be upon
him). Islam sees a woman, whether single or married, as an individual in her own
right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings. A marriage
gift is given by the groom to the bride for her own personal use, and she keeps her
own family name rather than taking her husband's. Both men and women are
expected to dress in a way that is modest and dignified. The Messenger of God
(peace be upon him) said: "The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is
best in manner and kindest to his wife."

Violence of any kind towards women and forcing them against their will for
anything is not allowed. A Muslim marriage is a simple, legal agreement in which
either partner is free to include conditions. Marriage customs thus vary widely from
country to country. Divorce is not common, although it is acceptable as a last
resort. According to Islam, a Muslim girl cannot be forced to marry against her will:
her parents simply suggest young men they think may be suitable.
MISCONCEPTION #3: Muslims worship a different God.
Allah is simply the Arabic word for God. Allah for Muslims is the greatest and most
inclusive of the Names of God, it is an Arabic word of rich meaning, denoting the
one and only God and ascribing no partners to Him. It is exactly the same word
which the Jews, in Hebrew, use for God (eloh), the word which Jesus Christ used in
Aramaic when he prayed to God. God has an identical name in Judaism, Christianity,
and Islam; Allah is the same God worshiped by Muslims, Christians and Jews.
Muslims believe that Allah's sovereignty is to be acknowledged in worship and in
the pledge to obey His teaching and commandments, conveyed through His
messengers and prophets who were sent at various times and in many places
throughout history. However, it should be noted that God in Islam is One and Only.
He, the Exalted, does not get tired, does not have a son ie Jesus or have associates,
nor does He have human-like attributions as found in other faiths.
MISCONCEPTION #4: Islam was spread by the sword and intolerant of other faiths.
Many social studies textbooks for students show the image of an Arab horseman
carrying a sword in one hand and the Quran in the other conquering and forcibly
converting. This, though, is not a correct portrayal of history. Islam has always
given respect and freedom of religion to all faiths. The Quran says: "God forbids
you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of
your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loveth those who are
just. 60:8)
Freedom of religion is laid down in the Quran itself: "There is no compulsion (or
coercion) in the religion (Islam). The right direction is distinctly clear from error".
(2:256)
Christian missionary, T.W. Arnold had this opinion on his study of the question of the
spread of Islam: ".. of any organized attempt to force the acceptance of Islam on the
non-Muslim population, or of any systematic persecution intended to stamp out the
Christian religion, we hear nothing. Had the caliphs chosen to adopt either course of
action, they might have swept away Christianity as easily as Ferdinand and Isabella
drove Islam out of Spain, or Louis XIV made Protestanism ..."
It is a function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is
why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world.
History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the
caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 634, Islam granted freedom of worship
to all religious communities in the city. Proclaiming to the inhabitants that their
lives, and property were safe, and that their places of worship would never be
taken from them, he asked the Christian patriarch Sophronius to accompany him on
a visit to all the holy places. Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set
up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities
themselves. The life and property of all citizens in an Islamic state are considered
sacred whether the person is Muslim or not.
Racism is not a part of Islam, the Quran speaks only of human equality and how all
peoples are equal in the sight of God. "O mankind! We created you from a single
soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may
come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God's sight is the
greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All- Aware. (49:13)
MISCONCEPTION #5: All Muslims are Arabs
The Muslim population of the world is around 1.2 billion. 1 out of 5 people in the
world is a Muslim. They are a vast range of races, nationalities, and cultures from
around the globe--from the Phillipines to Nigeria--they are united by their common
Islamic faith. Only about 18% live in the Arab world and the largest Muslim
community is in Indonesia. Most Muslims live east of Pakistan. 30% of Muslims live
in the Indian subcontinent, 20% in Sub-Saharan Africa, 17% in Southeast Asia, 18%
in the Arab world, and 10% in the Soviet Union and China. Turkey, Iran and
Afghanistan make up 10% of the non-Arab Middle East. Although there are Muslim
minorities in almost every area, including Latin America and Australia, they are
most numerous in Russia and its newly independent states, India and central Africa.
There are about 6 million Muslims in the United States
MISCONCEPTION #6: The Nation of Islam is a Muslim group.
Islam and the so called "Nation of Islam'" are two different religions. NOI is more of
a political organization since its members are not limited to a single faith. Muslims
consider this group to be just one of many cults using the name of Islam for their
own gain. The only thing common between them is the jargon, the language used
by both. "The Nation of Islam" is a misnomer; this religion should be called
Farrakhanism, after the name of its propogator, Louis Farrakhan.
Islam and Farakhanism differ in many fundamental ways. For example, Farakhan
followers believe in racism and that the 'black man' was the original man and
therefore superior, while in Islam there is no racism and everyone is considered
equal in the sight of God, the only difference being in one's piety. There are many
other theological examples that show the 'Nation's teachings have little to do with
true Islam. There are many groups in America who claim to represent Islam and call
their adherents Muslims.
Any serious student of Islam has a duty to investigate and find the true Islam. The
only two authentic sources which bind every Muslim are 1. the Quran and 2.
authentic or sound Hadith. Any teachings under the label of "Islam" which
contradict or at variance with the direct understanding of fundamental beliefs and
practices of Islam form the Quran and authentic Hadith should be rejected and such
a religion should be considered a Pseudo-Islamic Cult.
In America there are many pseudo-Islamic cults, Farrakhanism being one of them.
An honest attitude on the part of such cults should be not to call themselves
Muslims and their religion Islam. such an example of honesty is Bahaism which is
an off-shoot of Islam but Bahais do not call themselves Muslims nor their religion,
Islam. In fact Bahaism is not Islam just as Farrakhanism is not Islam.
MISCONCEPTION #7: All Muslim men marry four wives.
The religion of Islam was revealed for all societies and all times and so
accommodates widely differing social requirements. Circumstances may warrant the
taking of another wife but the right is granted, according to the Quran, only on
condition that the husband is scrupulously fair. No woman can be forced into this
kind of marriage if they do not wish it, and they also have the right to exclude it in
their marriage contract.
Polygamy is neither mandatory, nor encouraged, but merely permitted. Images of
"sheikhs with harems" are not consistent with Islam, as a man is only allowed at
most four wives only if he can fulfill the stringent conditions of treating each fairly
and providing each with separate housing etc. Permission to practice polygamy is
not associated with mere satisfaction of passion. It is rather associated with
compassion toward widows and orphans. It was the Quran that limited and put
conditions on the practice of polygamy among the Arabs, who had as many as ten
or more wives and considered them "property".
It is both honest and accurate to say that it is Islam that regulated this practice,
limited it, made it more humane, and instituted equal rights and status for all
wives. What the Qur'anic decrees amount to, taken together is discouragement of
polygamy unless necessity for it exists. It is also evident that the general rule in
Islam is monogamy and not polygamy. It is a very tiny percentage of Muslims that
practice it over the world. However, permission to practice limited polygamy is only
consistent with Islam's realistic view of the nature of man and woman and of
various social needs, problems and cultural variations.
The question is, however far more than the inherent flexibility of Islam; it also is the
frank and straightforward approach of Islam in dealing with practical problems.
Rather than requiring hypocritical and superficial compliance, Islam delves deeper
into the problems of individuals and societies, and provides for legitimate and clean
solutions which are far more beneficial than would be the case if they were ignored.
There is no doubt that the second wife legally married and treated kindly is better
off than a mistress without any legal rights or expermanence
MISCONCEPTION #8: Muslims are a barbaric, backward people.
Among the reasons for the rapid and peaceful spread of Islam was the simplicity of
its doctrine-Islam calls for faith in only one God worthy of worship. It also
repeatedly instructs man to use his powers of intelligence and observation. Within
a few years, great civilizations and universities were flourishing, for according to the
Prophet (pbuh), 'seeking knowledge is an obligation for every Muslim man and
woman'.
The synthesis of Eastern and Western ideas and of new thought with old, brought
about great advances in medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography,
architecture, art, literature, and history. Many crucial systems such as algebra, the
Arabic numerals, and also the concept of the zero (vital to the advancement of
mathematics), were transmitted to medieval Europe from Islam. Sophisticated
instruments which were to make possible the European voyages of discovery were
developed, including the astrolabe, the quadrant and good navigational maps.
MISCONCEPTION #9: Muhammad was the founder of Islam and Muslims worship
him.
Muhammad(pbuh) was born in Mecca in the year 570. Since his father died before
his birth, and his mother shortly afterwards, he was raised by his uncle from the
respected tribe of Quraysh. As he grew up, he became known for his truthfulness,
generosity and sincerity, so that he was sought after for his ability to arbitrate in
disputes. The historians describe him as calm and meditative. Muhammad (pbuh)
was of a deeply religious nature, and had long detested the decadence of his
society.

It became his habit to meditate from time to time in the Cave of Hira near Mecca. At
the age of 40, while engaged in a meditative retreat, Muhammad(pbuh) received his
first revelation from God through the Angel Gabriel. This revelation, which
continued for 23 years is known as the Quran. As soon as he began to recite the
words he heard from Gabriel, and to preach the truth which God had revealed to
him, he and his small group of followers suffered bitter persecution, which grew so
fierce that in the year 622 God gave them the command to emigrate.
This event, the Hijra 'migration', in which they left Mecca for the city of Medina,
marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar. After several years, the Prophet and
his followers were able to return to Mecca, where they forgave their enemies and
established Islam definitively. Before the Prophet saw dies at the age of 63, the
greater part of Arabia was Muslim, and within a century of his death Islam had
spread to Spain in the West and as far East as China. He died with less than 5
possessions to his name.
While Muhammad (pbuh) was chosen to deliver the message, he is not considered
the "founder" of Islam, since Muslims consider Islam to be the same divine
guidance sent to all peoples before. Muslims believe all the prophets from Adam,
Noah, Moses, Jesus etc. were all sent with divine guidance for their peoples. Every
prophet was sent to his own people, but Muhammad(pbuh) was sent to all of
mankind. Muhammad is the last and final messenger sent to deliver the message
of Islam. Muslims revere and honor him (pbuh) for all he went through and his
dedication, but they do not worship him. "O Prophet, verily We have sent you as a
witness and a bearer of glad tidings and a warner and as one who invites unto God
by His leave and as an illuminating lamp."(33:45-6)
MISCONCEPTION #10: Muslims don't believe in Jesus or any other prophets.
Muslims respect and revere Jesus, upon him be peace, and await his Second
Coming. They consider him one of the greatest of God's messengers to mankind. A
Muslim never refers to him simply as 'Jesus', but always adds the phrase 'upon him
be peace' (abbreviated as (u) here). The Quran confirms his virgin birth (a chapter
of the Quran is entitled 'Mary'), and Mary is considered the purest woman in all
creation. The Quran describes the Annunciation as follows:
"Behold!" the Angel said, "God has chosen you, and purified you, and chosen you
above the women of all nations. O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from
Him whose name shall be the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, honored in this world and
the Hereafter, and one of those brought near to God. He shall speak to the people
from his cradle and in maturity, and shall be of the righteous." She said: "O my
Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me?" He said: "Even so;
God creates what He will. When He decrees a thing, He says to it, "Be!" and it is"
(Quran 3:42-47)
Jesus (u) was born miraculously through the same power, which had brought Adam
(u) into being without a father: "Truly, the likeness of Jesus with God is as the
likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, and then said to him, 'Be!' and he was."
(3:59) During his prophetic mission Jesus (u) performed many miracles. The Quran
tells us that he said: " I have come to you with a sign from your Lord: I make for you
out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breath into it and it becomes a bird
by God's leave. And I heal the blind, and the lepers, and I raise the dead by God's
leave." (3:49) Neither Muhammad (pbuh) not Jesus (u) came to change the basic
doctrine of the brief in One God brought by earlier prophets, but to confirm and
renew it.

In the Quran Jesus (u) is reported as saying that he came: "To attest the law which
was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was forbidden you; I have
come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear God and obey Me. (3:50) The
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: "Whoever believes there is no god but God, alone
without partner, that Muhammad (pbuh) is His messenger, that Jesus is the servant
and messenger of God, His word breathed into Mary and a spirit emanating from
Him, and that Paradise and Hell are true, shall be received by God into Heaven.
"(Hadith related by Bukhari).
Struggling Against Stereotypes
Struggling Against StereotypesStruggling Against StereotypesUNC-Chapel Hill
Female Muslim Graduates, Nushmia Khan.
One of the most widely discussed issues in the U.S. Muslim community is the
negative image of Islam in the American media, an issue that was cause for concern
even before 9/11. While appeals to the media for accuracy and fairness continue,
newspaper headlines regularly print the words Islam and Muslim next to words
like fanatic, fundamentalist, militant, terrorist and violence. Uses of the
term jihad in television programs and films are also illustrative. As a pamphlet for
the media published by the American Muslim Council explains, the word jihad is
more accurately translated as exertion of effort, not holy war. The Prophet
Muhammad said that the highest form of jihad is the personal struggle to make
oneself a better Muslim. Events such as the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the
subsequent hostage crisis, the Gulf War, and, most significantly, 9/11 and the
Global War on Terror that followed, have received enormous press coverage as
evidence of Islamic fundamentalism. American Muslims often ask why a small
group of extremists, whose terrorist actions violate the central principles of Islam,
should determine the public image of the entire Muslim community. As Edward Said,
author of Covering Islam, noted, prejudice against Muslims is the last sanctioned
racism.
Muslims in the United States experience the impact of these stereotypes in myriad
forms. Individuals have experienced discrimination in housing and employment, or
even harassment and attacks from strangers on the street; mosques and Islamic
centers across the country frequently report vandalism. During the 1990s the
attacks on people and places of worship received little attention from the
mainstream press, despite the fact that a number of mosques were destroyed by
arson across the United States in places like Yuba City, California, Springfield,
Illinois, and Greenville, South Carolina. Such incidents have only increased in recent
years, adding to the list mosques in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Joplin, Missouri and
Toledo, Ohio. Many Muslim communities experience difficulties with neighbors and
zoning boards even before establishing places of worship, and the connection
between stereotypes and harassment is often explicit: at a city council meeting in
California, one neighbor opposing the establishment of a local Islamic center
exclaimed, It only takes five people to make a group of terrorists.
A 2011 report entitled Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in
America, published by the Center for American Progress, traces the voices and
sources of funding of the anti-Islamic rhetoric that has stimulated a fear of Muslims.
These include organizations like ACT! for America, Jihad Watch, American Freedom
Defense Initiative (AFDI), and Stop Islamization of America (SIOA). SIOA, founded in
2010, had a prominent role in creating public opposition to the Muslim community
center, Park51, mistakenly dubbed as the Ground Zero Mosque, which was to be
constructed in Lower Manhattan. SIOA was identified by the Southern Poverty Law
Center as a hate group in 2011. The Center for Security Policy (CSP) was identified
by the Fear, Inc. report as being at the hub of the anti-Islam movement, as it is
highly influential with right-wing politicians, and a central hub of the anti-Muslim
network and an active promoter of anti-Sharia messaging and anti-Muslim rhetoric.
In 2012, the American Freedom Defense Initiative sponsored advertisements on
public transportation in the New York area that declared: Its not Islamophobia, its
Islamorealism. While many supported the organizations right to freedom of
speech, many, including the Anti-Defamation League, also criticized the SIOA and
AFDI for condemning an entire religion and its members. Rabbis for Human Rights
as well as Christian groups such as Sojourners and the United Methodist Women
responded in support of Muslims, placing counter ads in support of Muslims.
Even before 9/11, the effects of stereotyping against Muslims were apparent. For
example, in the immediate wake of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, early news
accounts included reports of people of Middle Eastern heritage fleeing the scene;
many journalists, experts, and even former Representative Dave McCurdy linked
the bombing to fundamentalist Islamic terrorist groups. The response was fast and
furious: over two hundred incidents of bias against the Muslim community followed
in the next few days, including attacks on private homes and mosques. Muslims
were not involved in the bombing, but many were active in the rescue efforts.
The American Muslim community has mobilized to fight against these dangerous
stereotypes and their damaging effects. A growing number of Muslim organizations
are offering resources to educate the media and the general public about Islam, and
to encourage Muslims in their local communities to speak out against
discrimination. In the 1990s, the American Muslim Council in Washington, D.C.
published a pamphlet to teach Muslims how to write op-ed pieces and letters to the
editor of local newspapers as well as how to organize meetings with media and
public officials in response to a crisis. The Islamic Circle of North America has set up
a toll-free number to report bias and hate incidents; the Council of American-Islamic
Relations (CAIR), which began in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, has
continued to track hate crimes against American Muslims. Muslims are also active in
interfaith groups and outreach programs across the country.

Many Muslim individuals and communities in America are finding ways to be


innovative and transparent in their efforts to dispel some of the stereotypes that are
perpetuated about Islam. Mosques across the country hold open houses and invite
non-Muslims to lectures about Islam or to attend Friday prayers. Advertisements for
Islam 101 classes are posted in subway cars and buses in Boston. Muslim student
groups are hosting Islam Awareness Weeks,on their college campuses. Individuals,
too, are attempting to educate non-Muslims about various traditions of Islam. For
example, Imam Khalid Latif, Muslim chaplain at New York University, wrote a
Ramadan Reflection article in the Huffington Post for each day of the Muslim holy
month of Ramadan in 2011 and 2012, in which he addressed a range of topics from
his own 9/11 story to the challenges and rewards of keeping the fast.
Television has also been a venue for rebranding Islam. Little Mosque on the Prairie
(2007-2012) was a comedy series on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
All-American Muslim (2011) aired for one season on The Learning Channel (TLC).
Following the daily lives of Lebanese-American Shia Muslim families living in
Dearborn, Michigan, All-American Muslim received attention in the news when some
companies such the home-improvement store Lowes requested their
advertisements be removed during the shows airing. One loud voice in the
controversy was the Florida Family Foundation whose founder claimed airing the
show was dangerous because it presented Muslims as ordinary Americans.
While there are many strong voices, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, that denounce
militant jihad and Islamic fundamentalism, there remain a number of media outlets
and individuals who seem committed to promoting fear-inducing, monolithic, and
extremist understandings of Islam. As Muslim communities and their allies continue
to find ways to counter these negative stereotypes, there may yet be a day when
Islamophobia is an idea of the past and no longer a living reality.