Chicago Muslim group combats 'Islamaphobia' in a post-9/11 world

September 9, 2011

(WBEZ/Kate Dries)
Ahmed Rehab and members of CAIR-Chicago discuss "Islamaphobia" in a post-9/11 U.S.

A Chicago-based Muslim advocacy group says "Islamaphobia" has gotten worse in the U.S. since the terrorist attacks of September 11th.

"This may be the last year that I hold a press conference on 9/11 or participate in one," said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of CAIR-Chicago. "And the reason is, the only thing I'll be willing to do moving forward is remember the victims of 9/11."

Rehab and members of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago (CRLMC) in attendance stressed that anti-Islam rhetoric is as much of an issue in Chicago as it is across the U.S.

"I think the challenges of Islamaphobia, in terms of the national discourse on Islam, and relationship between Muslim-Americans and larger American society, or the Muslim-American world outside the United States is the same across the united states. And it isn't necessary local."

Gerald Hankerson, the Outreach Coordinator for CAIR, said that the the group has recently partnered with Wesleyan University to study the psychological effects discrimination has caused Muslim-Americans since 9/11.