Prepared by South Dakota Faith in Public Life, Jan. 2018
Identifying Anti-Muslim Organizations
It is difficult to know which internet sites to trust because there is a flood of misinformation online generated by the Islamophobia industry. A majority of the anti-Muslim rhetoric in the US has been traced back to a core group of 10 hard-liners and a small group of foundations and individuals that finance them. Leaders of this coordinated anti-Muslim campaign include Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Brigitte Gabriel, Frank Gaffney, David Horowitz, and David Yerushalmia. For a description of the Islamophobia industry, see; “Jihad Against Islam,” by Robert Steinback. http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2011/summer/jihad-against-islam.
Another report detailing the funders, organizations and individuals who have contributed millions of dollars to churn up exaggerated fear and hostility toward Islam and Muslims is “Fear, Inc. The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.” http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/08/islamophobia.html.
My Neighbor is Muslim: Exploring the Muslim Faith
A short, quick introduction to Islam with 7 short sections, including Islam & Jesus, Islam and Jews/Christians, Islam & Violence, in every-day language. Produced by Lutheran Social Services, available to download. http://lirs.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/LSSMN_LIRS_MyNeighborIsMuslim_12815.pdf.
Belief Net. General information about Islam. http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/islam.aspx.
Pew Research Center. A trusted source for research and news about how religion intersects with public life in the U.S. Check the Muslim Americans link at http://www.pewforum.org/topics/muslim-americans/.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) http://www.isna.net/ is the largest umbrella group of the Muslim community in the United States. Among their resources are position statements on current issues involving Muslims, and timely statements condemning acts of terrorism and violence. http://www.isna.net/isnas-position-statements/.
A Case Study about Muslim Physicians in Sioux Falls
The Pluralism Project at Harvard University www.pluralism.org tracks religious diversity in the U.S. and publishes Case Studies (based on true stories) that allow participants to practice problem-solving around questions raised by religious diversity. One such case study, entitled Sister Mary and the Muslim Doctors, describes how Avera McKennan Hospital responded when its Muslim physicians needed space in which to develop a community center. The case study is used to illustrate good business practice. Available online at http://pluralism.org/casestudy/selected-case-studies/.
Two anti-Muslim organizations promoting anti-Sharia legislation are the American Freedom Law Center and ACT for America. Anti-sharia bills are described as a solution without a problem because the Constitution already prohibits judges from applying any legal standard that violates state or federal law. The bills stoke fear of Islam and prejudice against Muslim Americans. Three reliable sites include: https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2017/08/08/anti-sharia-law-bills-united-states; https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/foreign-law-bans-aren%E2%80%99t-back%E2%80%94they-never-went-away; and http://bjconline.org/fear-fuels-anti-sharia-initiatives/.
DVD series: “Discover Islam.” https://www.discoverislam.com/. The non-profit organization Discover Islam has partnered with several church denominations nationwide to provide a documentary free of cost to congregations and non-profits. Partners include the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Church of Christ, Christian Church Disciples of Christ, and The Episcopal Church. An excellent introduction to the faith and practices of American Muslims. See trailers, download free study guides, or request a free set of DVD’s at https://www.discoverislam.com/elca. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org 703-738-3439.