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This has to stop.
As soon as the names of the shooters in San Bernardino became known, the media and blogosphere erupted in a flurry of anti-Muslim commentary and rhetoric—even though the shooters’ motives were still unknown. Such a response to this horrifying incident points to stereotyping and prejudice among many Americans not just in regard to Islam, but in regard to religion generally.
Ignorance begets fear. This is not just a problem for Muslims—it’s a problem for all Americans who treasure our country’s fundamental principles of freedom, acceptance, and pluralism. Whether it’s a Muslim girl being targeted for her hijab, a Sikh boy for his turban, or an African-American child perceived as a threat for no reason, these stereotypes continue to escalate to violence that leaves deep scars in our society.
ING fills a profound need through its unique focus on teaching about Islam and other religions and cultures through face-to-face interaction. Through education and interfaith engagement, ING upholds the cherished values of pluralism and community in the United States and teaches Americans of all faiths and cultures about Islam and Muslims in an accurate and honest way. And through the Interfaith Speakers Bureau, we bring together Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus in dialogue about the pressing issues facing the world.
After 22 years, our work continues to address bigotry and ignorance with proven success. We need your help to expand this work educating about Islam and Muslims regionally and nationally, immediately. Together, we can build ties across faiths to promote a stronger nation that celebrates diversity rather than feeling threatened by it. Join our movement and donate today. No amount is too small.
Maha Elgenaidi, CEO