‘Meet a Muslim’ events hope to dispel misconceptions
Muslims in north America are a highly diverse multi-ethnic, multi cultural grouping scattered throughout the country. The diaspora is so diffuse and assimilated that estimates of the population range from 3 to 7 million. No one is able to fix the exact number. The diversity is also to be found in religious practice and range from lapsed, nominal, faithful and fervent. But the public perception of muslims as portrayed in the media is as a sharia fifth column cabal hiding terrorists in their midst. The muslim attempts to counter the stereotypes is usually through activists belonginng to organizations such as CAIR and local groupings. One of the most prominent set of advocates are young females proudly wearing hijabs. The fact that hijabs are worn by a very small subset of muslim women is never mentioned. The hijab is very much a part of the existing stereotype and Muslim activists should make it a point to highlight muslim diversity and plurality among the spokes people addressing the news media.