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ING is making a difference, and we can prove it
When Judge Jack Zouhary asked Randolph Linn at his sentencing this week for setting a fire in a Toledo Mosque in September, “Do you know any Muslims or do you know what Islam is?” Linn reportedly responded by saying “No I only know what I hear on Fox News… Muslims are killing Americans and trying to blow stuff up… Most Muslims are terrorists and don’t believe in Jesus Christ.”
Randolph Linn reflects the findings of a recent Gallup poll showing that 53% of Americans have an unfavorable view of Islam. And in several recent studies, it was also shown that Fox News viewers are much more likely to be misinformed than other Americans. In the same year of the Gallup poll and more recently, the FBI reports sustained increases in anti-Muslim hate crimes.
These statistics and polls clearly show the need for ING’s work in education about Muslims and their faith as well as Muslim engagement with public institutions such as schools.
Based on random surveys of 4,319 students before and after ING presentations, we see dramatic results as follows:
- After an ING presentation, 58% of high school students say that they know that Muslims have long been part of America, whereas only 34% did before the ING presentation
- After an ING presentation, 70% of high school students think of American Muslims as “Americans like myself,” whereas only 48% did before the ING presentation.
- After an ING presentation, 82% of high school students think Islam promotes peace, whereas only 57% did before the ING presentation.
- After an ING presentation, only 5% of high school students believe Muslims view women as inferior, whereas nearly a quarter of the students did before the ING presentation.
Look for ING’s three-year impact study titled “Changing Hearts and Minds: ING Impact 2009-2012.” It will go in the mail in early January. The report clearly demonstrates that ING is effectively combating Islamophobia and promoting the acceptance of Muslims and Islam in our nation.
Please consider making a year-end donation to ING today to help us continue our important work of education and community engagement while preventing hate and bullying in schools. Learn more here.