Out of Context (Part 1) – Forget the Pundits, Ask a Muslim
In Part 1 of this fourteen-part interview with Dallas-based Pastor Mike Baughman, Imam Omar Suleiman shatters myths about Islam in America and about Muslims in general. He notes how Muslims have been here since the very beginning, as up to 40 percent of slaves were from Muslim countries. The first country to recognize the United States was also a Muslim country, Morocco. Historically, Suleiman explains, the fascination with Muslims began after WW II, through the 1940s with the Palestine-Israel conflict and the Iranian Revolution. Then 9/11 happened. This was a watershed moment when everyone wanted to become knowledgable about Islam and when many hate-mongers, masquerading as counter-terrorism experts, began informing some of the most important decision-makers in the country. Hollywood and the mainstream media also contributed to the negative image of Muslims. The solution, says Suleiman, is to be pro-active, to reach out to local Muslim populations, visit your local mosque and just ask a Muslim about Islam.