Anti-Muslim misinformation has become an effective political tool. Our Muslim friends and neighbors are the innocent casualties. How can we stand against this tactic, support our friends, and keep Islamophobia out of our elections?
$15 Registration (scholarships available)
To register, please fill out the event pre-survey and secure your spot using the Eventbrite link in the survey form.
Countering Islamophobia – Being Good Neighbors to Muslims
The motivation behind bringing this event to Escondido and San Diego comes from an eye-opening incident that took place in Ramona, California in August, 2018. Salaam founder, Steve Slocum, had been invited to participate in an event hosted by the Ramona Indivisible group in which Aziz Purmul, the founder of the We Love Our Neighbors Project, and his team of Muslim speakers gave talks about important aspects of the Islamic faith. The event was held at the Ramona Public Library and the general public had been invited.
Following the talks, upwards of five members of the audience hijacked the Q&A session with emotional comments opposing things that were said by the speakers about Islam, citing a source that none of the speakers had heard of. These audience members had clearly been prepping for this moment. The session got out of hand, and I saw the looks of pain on the faces of the humble, soft-spoken Muslim speakers as one person after another stood up and ranted about the awfulness of the religion of Islam.
Ramona, California has no mosque, and likely has not a single Muslim living there. It’s a quiet town a little bit away from the busyness of San Diego and suburbs, populated by a lot of churchgoers and normally very friendly people.
Where was this Hostility Coming from?
After some research, we learned that since just prior to the 2016 national election, the Ramona Tea Party political group had hosted at least four high octane Islamophobia events facilitated by organizations such as the Clarion Project, even featuring international phenom Heidi Mund, Ms. Mund rose to international Christian stardom when, after a Muslim imam was invited to give a call to prayer inside a historic German church, she stood and proclaimed “Jesus Christ alone is Lord of Germany,” before shouting, “I break this curse.”
It became crystal clear that the hostility we encountered in Ramona had proceeded from the series of Islamophobic events that had preceded us. And that the motivation behind those events was political.
Since this unpleasant experience, we at Salaam have been working hard to assemble a consortium that could effectively oppose politically-motivated anti-Islamic mis-information that puts our Muslim friends and neighbors at risk and keeps others trapped in fear-based political policy. So we were elated when Washington DC-based Shoulder to Shoulder told us they could come to San Diego for a weekend of training events. Salaam has combined forces with the We Love Our Neighbors Project and Peace Catalysts International to put on two one-day events: January 18 in Escondido and January 19 in San Diego.
Shoulder to Shoulder’s training program is the outcome of several years of research and cooperation with Re-Think Media and the Institute for Social Policy & Understanding (ISPU), and they have held trainings from coast to coast for the last two years. Don’t miss the opportunity to become a difference-maker.
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