Interfaith Justice and Islamophobia in America: Lecture at Eastern Mennonite University

Daniel Avatar

Right now in America, Islamophobia is worse than it was immediately following 9/11. Since the election of President Obama, hate groups have expanded, and American Muslims report higher levels of employment discrimination, hate crimes, and attitudes are generally unfavorable towards Muslims in the United States.

I offered a lecture on March 16th at Eastern Mennonite University where I talked about my research, writing, and activism on Islamophobia. You can listen to my talk here. I’m very grateful to my friend Paulette Moore (a professor at EMU and fellow PhD student at EGS) for bringing me to EMU.

It was delightful being with the Mennonite community, a Peace Church that is committed to radical nonviolence. One way to think of the Mennonite is that they are “culturally well integrated Amish.”

In the lecture I touched on three themes:

* Interfaith activism must get more active and creatively engaged with responding to issues of justice, particularly regarding responding to Islamophobia.

* The nature of prejudice — in the age of digital media — challenges us to re-consider the precise way that we respond to it and seek to re-humanize the other.

* Where is the cycle of Islamophobia headed in the future?

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