More About ChangeTheStory.net
What is ChangeTheStory.net?
Huge numbers of Americans profess to having little knowledge of Islam despite the fact that there may be as many as five million Muslims living in the U.S. ChangeTheStory.net is an on-line resource aimed at transforming harmful stereotypes about Muslims that persist in society.
The site offers an interactive experience where users—Muslim and non-Muslim alike—can meet their neighbors, learn about Islam and apply techniques of interfaith dialogue and action to local communities. Here you will find tools and helpful information for educators, religious leaders and individuals concerned about building bridges of understanding across lines of faith and culture.
What stories do we seek to change?
No one denies that acts of violence have been committed in the name of Islam. Despite the fact that the percentage of terrorist acts have been perpetrated by a tiny fraction of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims, the media has routinely stereotyped Muslims as untrustworthy at best, and violent terrorists at worst, poisoning the public perception. Thousands of innocent Muslims have experienced intolerance and have been questioned by government agents, prompting fear and suspicion by all non-Muslims. As we make caricatures of one another, communities fracture, individuals become isolated and we all miss experiencing the rich mosaic of relationships so unique to the American landscape.
Why change these stories now?
Acts of intolerance persist. Violence threatens to escalate when fostered by a climate of fear and mistrust. Our hope through ChangeTheStory.net is to transform the narrative we carry of each other, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. Now is the time to deepen understanding and respect, to reduce tensions, to head off future acts of intolerance and to build networks of cooperation.
ChangeTheStory.net is inspired by a new major report entitled, Changing Course, A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World. Two organizations, Search for Common Ground (SFCG) and the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) convened a distinguished group of American leaders to launch a two-year project, The U.S. – Muslim Engagement Project, to address the relationship between the U.S. and the Muslim world.
This Leadership Group has formed a clear and strong consensus on a strategy to enhance U.S. security and improve relations with Muslim communities and countries. The strategy is described and explained in The U.S. - Muslim Engagement Project Report, released on September 24th, 2008. Although the report and this web site are independent of one another and serve different audiences, Intersections developed ChangeTheStory.net in cooperation and consultation with staff leadership of the U.S. – Muslim Engagement Project.