(CARROLTON, GA - 1/26/17) The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today delivered a lecture about Islamophobia to students and faculty at the University of West Georgia.
During the event, which was hosted by the UWG Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Psychology Department, CAIR Georgia executive director Edward Ahmed Mitchell spoke alongside Emory University professor Dr. Isam Vaid.
Mitchell defined Islamophobia, traced its history from the 1980s to the present, and answered questions from the audience about hot topics.
"Without doubt, violent extremist groups overseas have played a role in the rise of Islamophobia here at home," Mitchell said. "But it is important to note that Islamophobia is often an artificial reaction manufactured by anti-Muslim bigots who make millions of dollars by spreading conspiracy theories about American Muslims."
Mitchell pointed to ACT for America, the Center for Security Policy, the Clarion Project, Pamela Geller and others as examples of anti-Muslim extremists who seek to malign and marginalize mainstream Muslims. Mitchell also addressed and debunked extremist groups, including terrorists motivated by an extreme religious ideology as well as terrorists motivated by political grievances.
"Muslim extremists and anti-Muslim bigots are two sides of the same ideological coin," Mitchell said. "They're both hateful, they're both irrational, and they're bothing saying the same things about Islam and America. If normal Muslims can win the argument against one of these groups, we also win the argument against the other."