Why Islamophobia Matters to Us All | An Author’s Event About Your Muslim Neighbor
September 29, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm| Free
Join Peace Activist Steve Slocum on his nationwide tour to dispel rumors and myths about Muslims and to create friendship between Muslims & people of others faiths & non faiths.
Snacks & mosque tour follow author’s talk.
Sunday, Sept. 29 | 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Muslim Community Center – East Bay,
5724 W. Las Positas Blvd. #300, Pleasanton
No RSVP needed. Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-623-2927
Mr. Slocum is author of “Why Do They Hate Us?: Making Peace with the Muslim World” and founder of SalamUSA.org. Signed copies of the book will be available for sale after the event.
MCC Congregation: We are limited in space and we ask that you attend only with a friend, co-worker, or neighbor. Download the flyer & share it: http://mcceastbay.org/invitation
Five years as a Christian missionary in Asian Kazakhstan was a game changer for Steve Slocum, altering forever his view of Muslims and his understanding of Islam. Today, with anti-Muslim sentiment at an all time high, Mr. Slocum is on a mission to dispel rumors and myths about Muslims and to shed light on Islam’s peaceful mainstream in his debut book “Why Do They Hate Us? Making Peace with the Muslim World,” and through his work with SalaamUSA, a nonprofit he founded in 2018.
With the release of his debut book, Slocum takes a stand against Islamophobia and encourages his readers to see through the rising anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. and beyond. By taking the spotlight off the extremists, Slocum instead exposes the heart of the everyday Muslim through Christian outreach and clears up common misconceptions about jihad, Sharia law and the role of women in Islam.
When Slocum returned from his missionary work in 1997, he resumed his engineering career, but became uncomfortable with the growing animosity towards Muslims. “When 9/11 happened, just like everyone else, I was traumatized,” said Slocum. “Having experienced the generosity and hospitality of the Muslim Kazak culture, I couldn’t fathom Muslim radicals flying packed airliners into skyscrapers filled with people.”
After 9/11, the world became more fearful of Muslims, and the current political climate has only exacerbated the issue, culminating in the rise of horrific hate crimes like the New Zealand Mosque shooting. “I believe many Americans have never healed from the trauma of 9/11. Others have misconceptions about Islam fed by media coverage of extremists,” Slocum added.
Most Americans don’t even know a Muslim, and 55% say they know “little or nothing” about Islam, according to SalaamUSA. “In this void, Americans’ opinions about Islam are shaped by the media, political rhetoric, and religious bias,” said Slocum.
“Islamophobia is a present and rising force in the West.” says D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer at Midwest Book Review. “(Slocum) takes a stand against this prejudice by advocating a different approach to not just tolerating Muslims, but getting to know them on a personal level. In this case, familiarity does not breed contempt. It leads to understanding.”
This personal interaction across cultures and faiths is the crux of Slocum’s work with SalaamUSA. From awareness events to mosque visits to the face-to-face friendship dinners and discussion groups, Salaam’s programs help fight fear with friendship.
“Since people fear what they don’t know, we create curriculum and hold workshops that help people better understand the peaceful mainstream – rather than the extremism that dominates the headlines, Slocum said.
“There could have been no better timing for the appearance of “Why Do They Hate Us?” than in these modern times,” added Donovan.
The book which releases on July 16 (Top Reads Publishing) has garnered rave early rave reviews from the trade and scholars alike, many calling it ‘essential reading’ and a thoughtful first hand examination of Islams peaceful mainstream.
About Steve Slocum:
Steve Slocum, author and peace activist, founded SalaamUSA.org with the goal of creating friendship between Muslims and non-Muslims. Motivated by his experience as a missionary in Kazakhstan, Slocum wrote Why Do They Hate Us? Making Peace with the Muslim World to counter rampant Islamophobic political rhetoric and give a voice to Islam’s peaceful mainstream. Through SalaamUSA and his new book, Slocum hopes to fight the fear, prejudice, and violence surrounding Islamophobia. He is an ambassador for the Parliament of World Religions and a presenter at the 2018 Parliament in Toronto. He is a frequent keynote speaker and media expert based in San Diego.
SalaamUSA.org is a non-profit organization that focuses on creating mutual understanding between Muslims, Christians, Jews and the non-religious. Salaam uses events, community outreach and media to raise awareness of Islam from an unbiased, non-religious, nonpartisan perspective.
The Top 10 Things I Thought I Knew About Islam, But Was Wrong
- Mohammed was primarily a warrior.
In fact, Mohammed was a champion for social justice and egalitarianism. You can read about the life of Mohammed in chapter 1 of Why Do They Hate Us? (WDTHU)
- Islam oppresses women.
In fact, in the time of Mohammed, women were oppressed by virtually all civilizations and cultures. Mohammed introduced the revolutionary idea that women were equal to men long before other civilizations.
- Muslims consider Jews and Christians to be infidels.
“Mohammed considered Islam to be a clarification of both Judaism and Christianity for the Arab peoples… “ More than twenty Old Testament prophets are validated by the Quran, including Jesus of Nazareth. The story told in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke is virtually retold in the Quran.”
(Pg. 114 WDTHU)
- Muslims are commanded by the Quran to slaughter all infidels.
In fact, the Quran forbids wars of aggression and allows only self-defense. “Fight in God’s path against those who fight you, but do not be aggressors, for God does not love the aggressors.” (Quran 2:190) “What set the Muslims apart from the Hebrews, the Christians, and the Quraysh was the strict prohibition against initiating a conflict and the requirement to cease fighting the moment the enemy surrendered.” (Pg. 50 WDTHU)
- Islam opposes freedom of religion and spread using the “convert or die” philosophy.
In fact, Mohammed taught that “there is no compulsion in religion.” All are free to choose for themselves (Quran 2:194).
- Islam is primarily a warlike religion.
In fact, the Quranic teachings about war were exclusively in the context of self-defense of the Muslim community, who were under attack from the Quraysh tribal leaders of Mecca. There is
nothing in the teaching of Islam even remotely close to a concept of killing all those who are not followers of Islam. (Pg. 46-56 WDTHU)
- Sharia law is about violent forms of punishment for various infractions such as in Saudi Arabia, Iran, by ISIS and the Taliban.
“I was shocked to learn that physical punishment is mentioned just five times in the entire Quran.” (Pg. 45 WDTHU)
- Mohammed was a conquering commander and a leader of the Islamic Empire.
In fact, Mohammed had passed away before Islam’s period of Imperial expansion, and this expansion had nothing to do with the religion of Islam but with the culture of empire. (Pg. 65 WDTHU)
- Al Qaeda originated as a group of militant Islamic fundamentalists intent on slaughtering infidels.
In fact, the CIA created terror in the name of Islam as a means to resist the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. “The United States all but created Al Qaeda: limitless cash and weapons, no
accountability or oversight, training in explosives and detonation,…even US-provided schoolbooks to make sure the next generation grew up as jihadists, according to the Washington Post.” (Pg. 161 WDTHU)
- Suicide and terror attacks committed by Muslims are motivated by religious fervor.
In fact, these attacks by Muslims nearly always have political motivation and nothing to do with religion. “The central fact is that overwhelmingly suicide terrorist attacks are not driven by religion as much as they are by a clear strategic objective: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland.” (Pg. 173 “ Dying to Win: The Logic of Suicide Terrorism , by Robert Pape)
Islamophobia: Fear Used For Political Gain Has Deadly Consequences
- Up to 75% of Americans don’t know a Muslim
- 55% Americans know “little or nothing” about Islam
- Americans’ opinions about Islam are shaped by the media, political
rhetoric, and religious bias
- Americans’ opinions about Islam are shaped by the media, political
- Islamophobia is real—and deadly — and being used for political gain
○ Well-funded anti-Muslim centers pump out false information for political purposes – with callous disregard for the innocent casualties
- From 2008-2013, $206M has funded 33 Islamophobic misinformation centers including:
- ACT! For America (actforamerica.org)
- Center for Security Policy (centerforsecuritypolicy.org)
- Middle East Forum (meforum.org)
- Jihad watch (JihadWatch.org)
- In 2016, anti-Muslim assaults reported to the FBI spiked to 37% — more than in the year of the 9/11 (2001) attacks
- In the two years leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump made approximately 30 public statements making false claims about Muslims or threatening discrimination
- As President, Trump has penned three versions of an executive order banning citizens from six Muslim majority nations from traveling to the United States.
- From 2016 to 2018, the government cut admissions for Muslim refugees by 91% Middle East countries account for fewer than 15% of the world’s population of Muslims
- 50 dead in Christchurch Mosque Massacre March 15, 2019
- 6 dead in Quebec City Mosque Shooting January 29, 2017
- SalaamUSA.org creates friendship and mutual understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims.
- Non-religious, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit corporation
- Bringing people together to overcome fear
- Proven process is designed to guide non-Muslims from fear to friendship
- Awareness events with Muslim speakers
- Mosque visits
- Friendship dinners
- Interactive discussion groups
- Diplomacy-hosting visiting dignitaries
- Travel to Muslim lands
● American Muslims have seen the greatest growth of bias-motivated violence in two of the past three years.