Muslim Group Promotes Interfaith Outreach

January 20, 2010

Author: Whitney Woodward

Source: The Chicago Tribune,0,7141006.story

Frustrated by the negative Muslim stereotypes fueled by high-profile acts of violence and terrorism, a group of Chicago's faith and community leaders are launching a campaign to eradicate these misconceptions by building new relationships across ethnic and racial divides.

"I think the American population, all of us are susceptible to what happens on a daily basis on the news," said Rami Nashashibi, the executive director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network, or IMAN, a Chicago nonprofit that advocates for social justice. "And quite frankly, over the last couple of months the news hasn't been quite great when you think about the three-second sound bite you hear that talks about Muslims."

IMAN is part of an initiative launched recently to bring together diverse local communities and facilitate change. The One Chicago, One Nation initiative — which includes a film contest, community organizing and a grant program — seeks to eliminate misperceptions about Muslims and Islam while facilitating change by funding projects that unite different faith, ethnic and community groups, Nashashibi said. A grant, for example, may be awarded to a partnership of two faith organizations working to eliminate poverty or feed the hungry, Nashashibi said.

See also: Interfaith, Islam, Civic