Middle East studies in the News
Local Muslim Leaders Donate $1M to University of Cincinnati for Islamic Studies and to Combat Islamophobia
by Angela Ingram
Political allies are condemning a few of President Trump's latest tweets. They were re-tweets of anti-Muslim videos posted by the leader of a far-right extremist party in Britain.
The original tweets are from Jayda Fransen, a woman who has been convicted of religious hate crimes. All three videos have been discredited.
Groups that work to counteract Islamophobia say the tweets put law-abiding American Muslims at risk. A family recently gave the money to the University of Cincinnati through the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati. It was their way of giving back to the community and hopefully helping stop religious harassment.
Dr. Inayat Malik and his family donated the money. "UC has been fortunate in the fact that they have a Judaic studies chair as well as a Catholic studies chair, but they have lacked a professorship or chair in Islamic studies and we felt it was important to complete the picture by bringing in somebody who can teach Islamic studies," Malik said.
He added, "It's unfortunate that people tend to brand all Muslims and paint them with a broad brush and project a stereotype which is primarily negative, ignoring the glorious history that Islam has had and its contributions towards all aspects of civilization including mathematics, sciences, geography."
There have been rallies by people of all religions speaking out against Islamophobia. The Council on American-Islamic relations says the current political atmosphere is challenging.
Karen Dabdoub is the executive director of the Cincinnati chapter of "CAIR". She said, "This is the difficulty because the American Muslim community is somewhere between one and two-percent of the population. So the vast majority of Americans have never interacted with somebody who is Muslim. A lot of people don't have any real life experience upon which to balance some of this hate speech."
Dabdoub says there's been an uptick in hate crimes targeting Muslims and Muslim children in America are bullied at four-times the rate of the average child. She believes it takes a group effort to help break down stereotypes and build bridges.
"Set your fear or your hatred or your dislike, set it aside and go and meet somebody who is from a different group of people that's different from you in some way," Dabdoub said.
The Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati will have a "Know Your Neighbor Day" this Saturday afternoon at 1pm. Anyone is welcome to have a tour of the West Chester facility and talk with religious leaders.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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