DALLAS, Texas – An American Muslim advocacy group has launched a new social media series that portrays American Muslims, hoping to counter rising Islamophobia.
“I’m hoping that they will see Muslims as humans,” said John Janney, the executive director for the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, NBC DFW reported.
The videos are created in North Texas, starring people from across the area.
“As-Salaam-Alaikum, my name is Hammad Fazlani. I was born in New York in 1997,” said Fazlani, the first to be featured.
He’s lived in Plano for 12 years and will soon be a UT-Dallas graduate.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing sports. Basketball, football, sand volleyball. Sand specifically, because not sand kind of hurts,” the software engineer said.
Fazlani’s video debuted on CAIR-DFW’s Facebook Page on Oct. 1. A new one was unveiled Monday, Oct. 8.
“I’m Zara Khan. I’m an American Muslim and I’m also a writer,” said Khan, who stars in the second installment.
She studies classical Arabic in Arlington, but she has other passions too.
“Over the summer I worked as a youth reporter at WUNC, North Carolina Public Radio which is an affiliation with NPR,” Khan said.
A new civil rights report from CAIR showed a 15 percent spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes from 2016 to 2017.
Fifteen percent of cases happened in Texas. Janney hopes the new videos will change this atmosphere.
“It’s all about breaking down those barriers. It’s all about showing community members individually for the diverse group of people that we are,” he said.