Religions for Peace USA is currently working on a project called Our Muslim Neighbor that aims to address attitudes and behaviors towards American Muslims and Islam.
To tackle the ambitious goal of mobilizing “our better angels” and calling upon the best of our American values, a new approach is needed to address public fears and media biases. We believe Americans are open to credible information and points of view that can help us avoid the sorts of bias, discrimination, and even violence encountered by Mormons, Catholics, and Jews in previous generations. Benefiting from a generous lead anchor funder, the Our Muslim Neighbor (OMN) campaign takes a collaborative, decades-long view (using collective impact as a model) of how to tame the worst distortions and misinformation being spread about Muslims and Islam.
Religions for Peace USA is currently working on the Our Muslim Neighbor project in close cooperation with the William and Mary Greve Foundation, Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding (Tanenbaum), Auburn Seminary (Auburn), Dr. Haruhisa Handa of the International Shinto Foundation (ISF), and other project partners.
Our Muslim Neighbor is focusing on one area as a pilot location to begin with, and later will expand work to other locations, as well as develop some coordinating national components to the effort. Work has commenced in central Tennessee. The objective is to advance constructive attitudes, behaviors, and knowledge about Muslims and Islam, using unusual actors, a collective impact approach, and a mix of public education and media engagement.
Our Muslim Neighbor will also allow room to consider responding creatively and appropriately to crises as they arise and allocate some resources for rapid response initiatives, continued research and development, and exploration of potential new avenues for addressing the complex problems of fear, ignorance, and lopsided information.