Americans United partnered with the Bridge Initiative yesterday to host a Facebook Live discussion, “Standing With Our Muslim Neighbors.”
As reports continue that President Donald J. Trump any day could issue a new executive order restricting Muslim immigration and that anti-Muslim rhetoric and hate groups are increasing, we wanted to offer some practical suggestions on how you can be a good ally to the Muslim community.
“We know that Islamophobia has been extremely visible since the Muslim ban was announced,” said Erin Hagen, AU’s field associate, who emceed the discussion. “But [it] has long been present in the United States, and we really have a lot of work ahead of us to fight back against it.”
Kristin Garrity Şekerci, a research fellow with Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative, offered several resources for how non-Muslims can learn more about Islam and how they can support the Muslim community.
“For me, I think the most important thing you can do and the best place to start is education, education, education,” said Sekerci.
Şekerci recommended reviewing the statistics on hate crimes against Muslims to understand the prejudice they face and looking to organizations that offer resources for combatting Islamophobia. Among them is the Bridge Initiative, which is based at Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding; it combines research into Islamophobia with methods for addressing prejudice against the religion.
Other resources she suggested include South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT); Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR); the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC); the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU); the Center for American Progress; and the FBI’s Hate Crimes division.
Beyond that, Şekerci said getting to know Muslims is key: “You’re more likely to have more favorable views about Islam and Muslims if you know a Muslim personally.”