The 2013-2014 academic
year is off to a great start

patel1ING is the kind of organization whose impact is self-evident, but the report below should help explain in greater detail the value of ING’s work in the community wherever our affiliates are located. On any given day in the academic year, ING speakers are presenting 2-3 seminars about Islam and Muslims or engaging in an interfaith panel. The positive results and improved perceptions that ING brings about are the reasons why this organization is essential for the American community at large.

Javed Patel
ING Board of Trustees

ING has had a fabulous start to academic year 2013-2014. Since September 2013, we have delivered presentations and panels to 185 classes, reaching some 7500 people face to face.

Some of our notable presentations during the fall semester include the following:

  • Cultural diversity training for San Francisco Unified School District teachers at the California Institute for Integral Studies.
  • Presentations about “American Muslims and the First Amendment” at Willow Glen High School in San Jose
  • Presentations about “Discrimination against Muslim Americans” at Leadership Public School in Hayward
  • Presentations on Islamophobia at San Francisco City College and Mills College
  • Six-session course on “Judaism and Islam” at Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco
  • Participation in panel on activism by Muslim women, sponsored by the International Museum of Women and held at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco

These are a small sampling of our many diverse presentations, in addition to our standard presentations to schools, colleges, and community groups.

Demonstrating our impact is a sampling of testimonials from high school students who attended ING interfaith panels:

  • “I learned more about Muslims because I didn’t know they were that related to Christianity and Jews.”
  • “When people think about Islam they think about terrorist attacks, but they are actually unrelated.”
  • “I was moved by their insight and honesty.”
  • “I’ve always been biased about Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam because I live in America and am Christian. So today opened my eyes to the true realities of those religions!”
  • “Yes, my views have changed. I became more tolerant of views that I may not accept, but can respect.”
  • “My views have opened up instead of being closed by stereotypes.”

ING surveys also demonstrate the impact of our presentations

Equally telling testimony to ING’s impact are the following charts showing the effect of ISB presentations on student attitudes, as taken from responses to surveys given before and after experiencing an ING Muslim speaker.

The data below is based on responses from over 1,000 students over the past four months (from September –December, 2013) representing approximately a 25% response rate.

The number of Islamophobic responses drops sharply after an ING presentation. 

The students’ sense of their own knowledge of Islam rises dramatically.

Survey questions are grouped into six “frames” reflecting common attitudes toward Muslims and their faith. The charts show the percentage of respondents showing positive or negative attitudes about these topics. The first frame involves views of Muslims’ propensity towards peace or violence.

The second frame deals with views of American Muslims as either normal Americans or unassimilable foreigners.

The third frame deals with the prevalent view that Muslims are intolerant.

The fourth frame probes whether Muslims are seen as productive Americans contributing to the national we
lfare or as dangerous “Islamists.”

The fifth frame deals with the common belief that Islam is inherently oppressive to women.

The sixth frame questions whether Muslims are educated professionals or disadvantaged.

The following are charts of responses to individual survey questions. The first demonstrates that ING presentations dispel the stereotype that Islam promotes terrorism.

ING presentations are equally effective in encouraging people to view Muslims as Americans like themselves.

We are grateful for the opportunity to dispel misinformation through education, and look forward to continuing this important mission as we begin the New Year. All of us at ING – our staff, our speakers, and our supporters – have much to be proud of and thankful for as we expand our work of increasing intercultural knowledge and understanding over the coming year. Thanks for your continued support.

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