On February 28th, Muslims will be taking back the narrative about their faith and themselves. In collaboration with DuPage United, ICNA Chicago is participating in the year-long ‘We the People’ Campaign focusing on solidarity with Muslims with a launch event expected to attract 500 people of diverse faiths.
As Muslims we have an opportunity to create a counter-narrative, replacing “us” and “them” with “we the people.” Much of Islamophobia is based on misinformation and fear of the unknown. DuPage United’s Solidarity Campaign is intended to achieve this. It presents Muslims, too, with a venue to reach out and speak to their neighbors of other faiths. The one-to-one conversations we are planning for the launch event on February 28 are meant to build small bridges of understanding. Those who know a Muslim are more inclined to take advantage of mosque open houses, attend unity dinners and unlikely to tolerate hate talk. We want to make clear the shared American values that bind us into “we”. Over the course of this campaign, as Muslims, we hope to build a critical mass that will be able to push back against political hate talk.
Among the speakers who will be leading these courageous conversations will be Dr. Larycia Hawkins of Wheaton College, Pastor James Honig of Faith Lutheran Church and Muslim youth.
Members of the audience will be encouraged to engage in one-to-one conversations with those of different faiths.
This is vital especially as the election campaign goes into full swing in the late summer & fall. Developing interfaith voices starts by talking one-to-one to each other. Together, each of us can speak out in solidarity and, in unison, defeat hate and fear. As Muslims, we can take back the narrative.