Gerald Hankerson, CAIR-Chicago’s Outreach Coordinator, spoke at Oakton Community College on November 18th at the Muslim Student Association’s (MSA) Annual Eid Al-Adha Dinner. Hankerson discussed the effects of the media on Islam and Muslims in America.
Hankerson encouraged students to become proactive in holding the media accountable for the sometimes skewed and biased views it presents on Islam and Muslims.
“Hold editors, writers, producers and gatekeepers accountable for their work,” advised Hankerson, “and provide continuous feedback.”
He believes that students should not only become familiar with current affairs and offer their own unique perspectives, but also actively contribute to public discourse through various social media.
Hankerson’s main critiques of the media included a tendency to report the facts as opposed to unsubstantiated theories, and falling into double standards when reporting on different religions.
“Effective communication is essential to humanizing the Muslim image and gaining acceptance of the Muslim community by our friends and neighbors of other faiths,” said Hankerson.