(ATLANTA, GA - 8/29/17) CAIR Georgia today hosted its second annual Muslims Rebutting Extremism seminar before both live and online audiences. During the seminar, expert speakers discuss the twin threats posed by anti-Muslim bigots and Muslim extremists, as well as effective ways to counter both of those groups.
VIDEO: CAIR Georgia 2nd Annual Muslims Rebutting Extremism Seminar
Speakers at both the 2016 and 2017 seminars were Dr. Houda Abadi, Associate Director of the Conflict Resolution Program at The Carter Center, Imam Arshad Anwar, leader of Roswell Community Masjid, and Edward Ahmed Mitchell, attorney and executive director of CAIR Georgia.
"Muslim extremists and anti-Muslim bigots represent two sides of the same coin," Mitchell said. "By debunking their ignorant and dangerous arguments, we hope to push back against both illegal discrimination and terrorist propaganda."
"As an imam, I feel a special obligation to educate our community, including parents and children, about the best ways to protect themselves from anti-Muslim harassment, as well as the online propaganda of extremist groups," said Imam Arshad Anwar, who once survived a bombing attack while attending school in Pakistan.
"American Muslims do not hesitate to condemn hate crimes and terrorist attacks, no matter the race or religion of the perpetrators," said Dr. Houda Abadi, who has traveled across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa to conduct research studies about extremist propaganda, and leads workshops for religious leaders working to prevent violent extremism in their local communities.
"We also take proactive steps to prevent and counter extremism by exposing and debunking their arguments, tactics, and goals."
During the event, the speakers also answered questions from the audience and discussed other ways to combat Islamophobia and Muslim extremism, including changes to American foreign policy.
"Everyone has a role to play in combating extremist groups, including the American government," Mitchell said. "We must pursue a just and moral foreign policy toward the Middle East, including securing freedom for the Palestinian people, ending our support for corrupt dictatorships, closing Guantanamo Bay, and ending our military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere. In doing so, we may dramatically shrink terrorist groups' ability to recruit new members."