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"My Fellow American..." Initiative launched to combat islamophobia in America

Source: Islam Today
Thursday : 09 Jun 2011

A new online project, "My Fellow American", enables people of all faiths and backgrounds to share a positive story about a Muslim they know personally.

The project was recently launched by Unity Productions Foundation (UPF), ia nonprofit media organization founded in 1999 that produces documentary films for both television broadcast and theatrical release, and implements long-term educational campaigns aimed at increasing understanding between people of different faiths and cultures, especially between Muslims and other faiths.

The centerpiece of the "My Fellow American" project is a short teaser film that juxtaposes voices of hate with everyday Muslim Americans. It serves as a call-to-action for people of all faiths to stand up against this climate of hate speech and Islamophobia.

After watching the short film, the viewer is encouraged to visit the project's website, where dozens of Americans have already submitted short YouTube stories about a Muslim they know and admire. It calls on people of all faiths to sign a pledge and share the project with their network and affirm that American Muslims are indeed our fellow Americans. The pledge reads:

"Muslims are our fellow Americans. They are part of the national fabric that holds our country together. They contribute to America in many ways, and deserve the same respect as any of us. I pledge to spread this message, and affirm our country's principles of liberty and justice for all."

Daniel Tutt, Outreach Director for Unity Productins Foundation, said he was upset that "radio talk show hosts, pundits and politicians utter statements about Islam and Muslims that if they were to say the same about other religious groups, they would face severe consequences. "

He said he wanted to "respond in a way that is constructive and doesn't simply perpetuate the shouting and hate speech."

Referring to a 2010 TIME poll which reported that 62 percent of Americans claim to have never met a Muslim, he said: "This left me wondering: What about those Americans that do know a Muslim? How can can they effectively respond to this climate of fear and hostility towards Muslims?"

This is how the "My fellow American" intitiative was born.


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