Research shows that 9 in 10 of all news reports about Muslims, Islam, and Islamic organizations are related to violence — war or terrorism. In fact, most Muslim newsmakers are warlords or terrorists. Alarmingly, media representations of Islam were worse in 2015 than any other time since 9/11. Are such portrayals representative of today’s global realities? Are Muslims simply over-sensitive? Are concerns with media depictions of Muslims and Islam in the West reflective of a liberal culture obsessed with political correctness? If not, are there opportunities for change?
Engy Abdelkader is a senior fellow and adjunct professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service where she teaches seminars on civil liberties and national security as well as terrorism and human rights. At Georgetown’s Bridge Initiative, a multi-year research project housed in the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, she researches and writes on the intersection of religion, law and society with a particular focus on Islamophobia. Abdelkader holds two U.S. law degrees including credentials from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she served as a Constitutional Law Teaching Fellow and she graduated with academic distinction.
John L. Esposito is University Professor and Professor of Religion & International Affairs and of Islamic Studies, Founding Director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and Director of The Bridge Initiative at Georgetown University. His more than 50 books have been translated into more than 40 languages. He is the past President of the American Academy of Religion and Middle East Studies Association of North America, a former member of the World Economic Forum’s Council of 100 Leaders, a Senior Scientist for The Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, and has served as a consultant to the U.S., European and Asian governments.
Arsalan Iftikhar is an author, international human rights lawyer, founder of TheMuslimGuy.com, and senior editor of The Islamic Monthly magazine. He is the author of “Scapegoats: How Islamophobia Helps Our Enemies & Threatens Our Freedoms.” He is a prominent media commentator on Islam and Muslims, and has been interviewed in many media outlets around the world, including CNN, BBC World News, National Public Radio (NPR), The TODAY Show, Al-Jazeera English, Time, Rolling Stone, The Economist and NBC News’s “Meet the Press”.
Dalia Mogahed is the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, where she leads the organization’s pioneering research and thought leadership programs on American Muslims. Mogahed is former Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, where she led the analysis of surveys of Muslim communities worldwide. With John L. Esposito, she coauthored the book “Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think.” President Barack Obama appointed Mogahed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009. She is also the CEO of Mogahed Consulting.
Ayman Mohyeldin is a foreign correspondent for NBC News and anchor for MSNBC. In 2011, Time magazine named Ayman as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. For his reporting, Ayman has won a Peabody Award, the UK’s Cutting Edge Media Award, Argentina’s prestigious Perfil International Press Freedom Award, Lebanon’s May Chediac Foundation Award and Europe’s Anna Lindh Foundation Award, in addition to several other American awards and multiple Emmy nominations. He was named as GQ magazine’s “Photographer of the Year,” Esquire magazine’s “Journalist of the Year” and was listed as one of the top social media accounts to follow by E! Entertainment online.
Roland Schatz is Founder and CEO of Media Tenor, an international research institute. With over 120 employees and offices in Beirut, Boston, Hanoi, London, New York, Pretoria, St. Petersburg, Tianjin, Vienna and Zürich, Media Tenor is the leading provider of ongoing international media content analysis. In 2008, the UN High Advisor President Sampaio appointed Roland Schatz as Global Media Expert. Together with Prince Ghazi of Jordan he founded the C1WorldDialogue Foundation in 2009. In 2013, he was appointed Senior Advisor to the UN General Director, and helped develop and implement the perception change program at the UN. In 2016, he founded the United Nations Global Sustainability Index Institute Foundation.