Magazine article Islamic Horizons

Community Engagement

Magazine article Islamic Horizons

Community Engagement

Article excerpt

The best way for filmmakers to represent Prophet Muhammad (salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) is, according to Dr. Ingrid Mattson's (president, ISNA; director of Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary) to look at the life of his followers. She made this statement while addressing the decennial conference of the Religion Communication Congress (RCC) 2010 in Chicago (7-10 April).

Speaking on how 9/11 continues to affect Muslim Americans, she asked rhetorically: "How do you respond to injustice when you are persecuted because someone hijacked your religion? We had to divert money, human resources, creativity, thoughts, and strategy to keep the Muslim community safe. God has a purpose, and we are only responsible for our own response."

These difficulties, she added, have led so many Muslims to participate in interfaith activities that they have become a part of the community's life. Another post-9/11 response was a push to define more globally "who is a Muslim." Since religious authority is decentralized in Islam, in 2005 King Abdullah of Jordan called together a group of scholars, who subsequently issued the Amman Declaration (http://amarcwiki.amarc.org/7The_Amma n_Declaration) to stop intra-Muslim sectarianism. Such developments have helped Muslim Americans find new partners, become more open to change, and learn to use it as the basis for new opportunities, Dr. Mattson opined.

The congress is a once-a-decade gathering of communications professionals from all over the world. …

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