Walid discusses Islamophobia with law students


Lecture discusses mistrust of Muslims

‘If we play into (Islamophobia), we play into the hands of bigots.’

Updated: 8:44 AM

Dawud Walid, Executive Director for the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islam Relations, lectured on the afternoon of Oct. 18 in the Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium. The lecture, “Bridging the Gap: The Park 51 Mosque and Islamophobia in America,” revolved around the problems Muslims face in today’s U.S. society.

Walid began by saying Islamophobia is a new concept in America, so new that “it is not yet in Webster’s dictionary.”

He said discrimination against Muslims has become acceptable in America, and he blamed certain campaigns, like the Tea Party movement, for continuing the problem.

Walid said Park 51, called the “Ground Zero Mosque” by some, was originally named Cordoba House in honor of the religious coexistence that took place in Cordoba, Spain. In regards to sensitivity of its location, Dwalid said constitutional rights are not based upon “the winds of emotion,” and he also said many of the people who died in 9/11 were Muslim.

He said the mosque’s Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, has been practicing in the area for 30 years. Dwalid also said similar issues were happening in other states, indicating Islamophobia rather than sensitivity.

Audience members asked Walid how Americans can get past Islamophobia. Walid said the solution is dialogue.

He said gallop polls indicate contact with Muslims on a daily basis – at work, school, etc. – produced positive opinions about Muslims.

Walid said people need to work together in order to phase out the Islamophobia that currently surrounds America.



2 thoughts on “Walid discusses Islamophobia with law students

  1. Part of the immigrant allure of USA has been that it is the land where you can forget your past and start all over again. Make your new identity. Live in your ethnic ghetto, or try to assmilate with the majority white culture.

    What September 11 taught us is that sometimes, people aren’t going to let you forget the past, even if you had nothing to do with those bad acts. You need to think about Germany and the reparations they are still paying to Israel, 50+ years after the Holocaust. Germans ask “When will be allowed to forget?” Will they ever be allowed to forget? Look at how angry people get in Turkey when they want them to remember the Armenian massacre.

    I think your point about getting out and meeting non-Muslim people in the community is what is at the heart of fighting Islamophobia. Think there is too much Islamophobia in this country? Then why don’t you sit down and count how many good non-Muslim friends you have. These would be the kind of people that would be willing to hide you in their basement should the government decide to ’round up’ all the Muslims. Hmm. Don’t have any friends like that? Then maybe you need to make more of an effort. If you want to change the world, then you need to start with yourself.

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