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WNYC Digital

Fear of a Muslim Planet

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WNYC's Brian Lehrer (L) moderates a panel about Islamophobia at the BAM Harvey Theater.

Who speaks for Islam? Is 'Islamophobia' a uniquely present-day problem? Does it even exist?

Six individuals from across the political, religious, and cultural spectrum convened at BAM as part of RadioLoveFest to try and address these massive issues. The conversation covered broad terrain, with illustrations by way of the Westboro Baptist Church, the NYPD, Ann Coulter, the Egyptian government, and even...Yoda.

Despite the huge topic, the aim was simple. As the evening's host Brian Lehrer explained at the outset, "No one here wants terrorism, and no one here wants bigotry. Let's have a dialogue about how we can fight the one without enabling the other."

Panelists included:

Wajahat Alico-host of The Stream on Al Jazeera America; author of “Fear Inc.: Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America"
Douglas Murrayassociate editor of The Spectator magazine; author most recently of Islamophilia
Faisal Saeed Al MutarIraqi-born writer and human rights activist 
Asra Nomaniauthor of “Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam” 
Linda SarsourBrooklyn-born executive director of the Arab American Association of New York
Bassem Youssefhost of Al-Bernameg, the first televised political satire show in the Middle East