Thursday, December 9, 2010

Excerpt: Muslim nonprofits struggle with media portrayals

See the full story here.

More than 90 percent of Muslims worldwide said that they were against violence and extremism, according to “What Makes a Radical,” a 2008 poll by Gallup. The largest Muslim civil liberty and human rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, holds the same stance.

“Associating Islam with the actions of terrorists and religious extremists implies that we accept their argument that what they do is based on a legitimate interpretation of the faith,” said CAIR’s legislative director, Corey Saylor, in a 2008 press release. “It is best to call them what they are – criminals, terrorists, extremists – without giving them the false religious justification they seek.”

When dealing with the biases that the media illustrates, Saylor said that nonprofits often have to put the issue aside to focus on what is in their control to change.

“That’s why you hear us asking what can we do for ourselves,” said Saylor. “We don’t have any control over outside organizations and media.”

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