I guess if the Muslims have success in converting Americans to their cause, that we should hold a “Meet Your Alt-Right Neighbors” events.
Better yet would be to invite blacks to “Meet a KKKer” and Jews to “Meet a Nazi” events.
After President Donald Trump’s election and a corresponding spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes, one small group in the Kansas City area started organizing monthly “Meet a Muslim” events ― an effort to show community members who Muslims really are in real life, as opposed to the negative stereotypes they might see in the news.
The events were an idea from the nonprofit Crescent Peace Society, which has been seeking to raise awareness and improve understanding of Muslim cultures through interfaith events and dialogue since its founding in 1996.
The volunteer-run group was started by a handful of Muslim parents after the Oklahoma City bombing, when some of their kids were afraid to return to school because classmates said they were responsible for the attack.
Since then, the group has been organizing annual interfaith dinners, local “visit a mosque” events, and a yearly iftar to break the Ramadan fast ― all with non-Muslim community members so they can get to know Muslims face-to-face and counter misconceptions.
But late last year, almost exactly two decades after the group’s founding, Trump won the presidency with a campaign full of anti-Muslim rhetoric. Crescent Peace Society, which is based in the suburb of Overland Park, Kansas, received a wave of requests from neighbors around the Kansas City area “who wanted to do something for the Muslim community but didn’t know how ― or had never even met a Muslim,” the group’s president, Ahsan Latif, told HuffPost.
That’s when he started the monthly “Meet a Muslim” events, inviting non-Muslims to sit around a table with Muslims and just talk ― about current events, their families, their faith, anything. The events, which are free and open to the public, have been at locations including an Islamic Center, a church and a synagogue. The first drew about 200 people and subsequent events have brought in about 150 each.
“I was surprised by my own misconceptions, particularly about the lives of women within the Muslim religion,” participant Becky Plate, who is non-Muslim, told HuffPost by email of her experience at one event. “I consider myself a pretty well-informed individual … but even I had allowed news stories, about things like women secretly learning to drive in Saudi Arabia, to color my opinions.”
For Latif, this type of myth-busting is exactly what the events are all about.
“It distills our mission down to one event: getting to know people on a person-to-person basis,” Latif said. “It’s harder to demonize someone or think they’re monolithic when you actually get to know them.”
“We speak as average people, not as mosque officials,” he added. “So people get to know who regular people are who practice the faith.”
Can we bring memes like these to the events? I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation.