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On a daily basis, Muslims are in the media.
This news-in part because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the aftermath of 9/11-has been overwhelmingly negative. Opinion columns have been worse still, sometimes veering into hate speech.
Minnesota Muslims are finding themselves voiceless, discussed, defined, categorized, psychoanalyzed, talked at and talked about without a serious attempt at inclusion.
Muslims, and friends of Muslims, would like to change this climate. We do not seek censorship of any voice. We recognize and embrace freedom of speech. Yet we also recognize that free speech exists to allow the voiceless and weak to speak to those in power. In the current situation, speech is one-sided. Regular verbal attacks are launched without the possibility of a regular, pro-active response.
We have begun a project called Engage Minnesota. Our goal is, broadly, to give voice to a community that is being attacked and defined from a position of ignorance. Engage Minnesota will work, specifically, to create new opportunities to provide regular opinions in local media outlets. This will benefit all Minnesotans as it will expand our understanding of a large portion of our world, and will create a real dialogue instead of a one-way stream.
If you are interested in this project-and in sharing your ideas on how to make this happen-please e-mail info [at] engagemn [dot] com. Thank you!