Muslims countering hate: a new approach

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The head of a Minneapolis-based Muslim civil rights group says his organization is taking a new approach to countering hateful messages - and he's asking non-Muslims to get involved.


Jaylani Hussein is executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). He says Minnesota has seen its share of incidents directed at Muslims in recent months, and some statements made during the presidential campaign have created uncertainty.


On Saturday, CAIR-MN joined supporters, volunteers and new community members at a “Call to Action” forum. At the dinner, attendees learned ways they can help challenge Islamophobia and protect civil liberties.


His group has come up with concrete ways that non-Muslims can help. Among them, Hussein says, supporters can use social media accounts to share stories of positive experiences they've had with Muslims, immigrants or refugees.

One woman who attended a meeting to learn about the effort says she'll help, perhaps by volunteering to teach Somali immigrants to read English.


CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.


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