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Capitol Hill panel discusses Americans' misunderstanding of Islam
by Caroline May
Members of the Congressional Muslim Staff Association (CMSA) hosted a panel discussion on Capitol Hill Tuesday to discuss the perception of Islam among Americans in the wake of the current debate over the proposed Park51 Islamic center and mosque project to be located just two blocks from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.
The primary point of agreement among all three panel participants was that those who oppose Muslim initiatives — such as the so-called "Ground Zero" mosque — are Islamaphobic and ignorant. A recent CBS poll revealed that 71% of Americans believe it is inappropriate to build a mosque so close to the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Salam Al-Maryati, president of Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Dr. Azizah Al-Hibri, chairwoman of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, and Dr. James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), were the participants on the panel entitled,"Muslims in America: Myths and Realities — A discussion on faith in the wake of the Park 51 Controversy."
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