MSUToday
Published: Jan. 15, 2015

Newest ‘Bias Busters’ guide focuses on Muslim Americans

Contact(s): Tom Oswald Media Communications office: (517) 432-0920 cell: (517) 281-7129 Tom.Oswald@cabs.msu.edu, Joe Grimm School of Journalism cell: (248) 631-9959 jgrimm@msu.edu

Islam is the topic in the latest in a series of books written by Michigan State University journalism students designed to blast biases and stereotypes about the world’s cultures and peoples.

The newest addition to the “Bias Busters: Guides to Cultural Competence” series is “100 Questions and Answers About Muslim Americans.”

“Given recent events in Paris, Australia, Iraq and other countries, this is a very timely guide,” said Joe Grimm, an MSU journalism instructor who teaches the course that produces the Bias Busters guides. “This is the first guide to take a look at one religion exclusively.”

The other books in the series focused on specific cultures, such as East Asian, Hispanics and Latinos, Native Americans and others.

Grimm said one reason the subject was chosen is "in part because of the rise of terror acts in the name of Islam and a recent report by the Pew Research Center that stated the opinions of Americans in general toward Islam were declining."

Mohammad Hassan Kahlil, director of MSU’s Muslim Studies Program, who wrote the preface to "100 Questions and Answers About Muslim Americans," said "such guides are helpful and critical, especially in a context in which there is much misunderstanding."

The guide addresses terms and issues in the news such as Islamist, Islamophobia and the use of imagery in the religion.

It also includes an audio recording that demonstrates how to pronounce Islamic terms correctly, as well as a nine-page guide to Islamic holidays.

"100 Questions and Answers About Muslim Americans" is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This semester, Bias Busters students are working on guides about military veterans, whose numbers will peak at 23 million, and another faith group, Jewish Americans.

The series began in 2013 in Grimm's Seminar in Journalism class with the goal of using journalism to produce a series of books to replace bias and stereotypes and to encourage conversation among people.

For more information visit the Bias Busters website at http://news.jrn.msu.edu/culturalcompetence/.

 

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