close
Saturday May 25, 2024

‘Muslims in US face bias despite generous donations’

By Our Correspondent
May 15, 2024
Dr Abdul Samad Assistant Director of the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at Indiana University speaks during an event. — Islamabad Post/File
Dr Abdul Samad Assistant Director of the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at Indiana University speaks during an event. — Islamabad Post/File 

Islamabad: American Muslims, though a small portion of the US population, donate billions to charity annually, according to Dr. Abdul Samad, an expert on Muslim philanthropy. However, Dr. Samad, speaking at a recent institute lecture, also highlighted the challenges they face due to prejudiced media portrayals and political rhetoric.

Dr. Samad, assistant director of the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative at Indiana University, argued that biased media coverage and negative stereotypes fuel anti-Muslim sentiment. Politicians who exploit these prejudices further isolate the Muslim community. Despite these challenges, American Muslims donate roughly $4.3 billion each year to various causes. This generosity extends to places of worship, overseas relief, civil rights efforts, and domestic needs.

Dr. Samad emphasized the diversity within the Muslim community. He also addressed the various forms of Islamophobia, including discriminatory legislation, hate groups, and personal experiences of harassment.

However, there were glimmers of hope. The recent conflict in Gaza has led to increased public sympathy for Muslims in the US. Additionally, legal frameworks offer some protection against discrimination. Dr. Samad also pointed to the positive role of faith-based organizations in combating prejudice. He highlighted a successful collaboration between Muslim organizations in Indiana as an example.

The discussion concluded with a broader definition of Muslim philanthropy, encompassing acts of kindness and time volunteered alongside financial contributions. The speakers also acknowledged the evolving nature of charitable giving, with the ongoing conflict in Gaza shaping priorities and fostering interfaith collaboration.