DI Sponsors Public Forum on Fighting Extremism and Islamophobia

DI Board Chair Majid Alsayegh (pictured left), with WISE's Daisy Khan and DI Executive Director Howard Cohen, at the WISE Up Townhall Dialogue event.

DI Board Chair Majid Alsayegh (pictured left), with WISE's Daisy Khan and DI Executive Director Howard Cohen, at the WISE Up Townhall Dialogue event.

In cooperation with and in support of the Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE), the Dialogue Institute (DI) sponsored a public forum, December 3, 2017, focused on fighting extremism and Islamophobia. The "WISE Up Townhall Dialogue" was held at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia.

WISE Up: Knowledge Ends Extremism is WISE's new 375-page research and evidence-based report in which more than 70 scholars, faith leaders, and activists provide their expertise on practical ways to counter extremism, hate crimes, Islamophobia and terrorism committed in the name of Islam by groups like ISIS.

After opening remarks by DI Board Chair Majid Alsayegh, Daisy Khan (founder of WISE and executive editor of WISE Up) presented the report along with other contributors—followed by an opportunity for dialogue and discussion. DI Executive Director, Howard Cohen, and Director of Education, Rebecca Mays, also participated in the forum. 

The purpose of WISE Up is to:

  • Protect minority civil liberties in the U.S., provide American youth who feel threatened with more comfort and a sense of security, and improve interaction and understanding across faith-based and cross-cultural communities.

  • Enable American Muslims to clearly articulate the distinctions between the peaceful religion of Islam and the ideology of terrorists.

  • Push activist messaging to combat extremist recruitment targeted at young Muslims and to further protect communities against hate and violence.

  • Develop and optimize messaging strategy to ensure proactive engagement for influencers, partners, and major media.

WISE Up is led by American Muslims and joined by multiple audiences of all faiths to 1) set the record straight on Islam and Muslims, and 2) to wrestle away the negative headlines by amplifying voices of reason. Copies of the report are available online.

The Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality was established in 2006 as a faith-based global program, social network and grassroots social justice movement at a historic conference in New York City. 150 leading Muslim women scholars, activists, artists and religious and civil society leaders – representing over 25 countries – joined together to develop a holistic and comprehensive vision for improving the position of Muslim women around the globe. Since this inaugural conference, WISE has energized a diverse and unified movement, soliciting participation from across religions and embracing a wide spectrum of ideologies, professions and nationalities. Click here for more information.