Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Between the Lines: Sleeping Tiger Awakes

by Zinta Aistars

for WMUK 102.1 FM
Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate

Between the Lines is my weekly radio show about books and writers with a Michigan connection. It airs every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m. (or listen anytime online), on WMUK 102.1 FM, Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate. I am the host of Between the Lines.

This week's guest: Dr. Anne Marie Ameri

Martha Obermiller of Denver, right, chants during a rally protesting the immigration policies of President Donald Trump, near the White House in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017

What does the average American really know about Muslims and the religion of Islam? For all that we hear in the news every day, misperceptions abound. But a Michigan writer hopes to change that.

According to a 2015 report by the Pew Research Center, Islam is the second largest religion after Christianity, with 1.6 billion Muslims around the world. Approximately 3.5 million of them live in the United States. Muslims are the majority in 49 countries.
Anne Marie Ameri of Dearborn felt she had to write Awakening the Sleeping Tiger Within: Breaking the Power of Mainstream Media’s Portrayal of Islam and The War on Terrorism (2016) to address misperceptions.
“I couldn’t sit back and do nothing,” Ameri says. “There was biased and inaccurate reporting by those who are not Muslim and had their own agenda, telling us what Muslims believe, making up things like if you kill a person, you will be rewarded with 72 virgins in heaven. Actually, what our holy book says is that if you kill one person, it’s as if you have killed all of humanity.”
Ameri studied history and psychology at Henry Ford College and Eastern Michigan University before earning her doctoral degree at Wayne State University. She also studied law at the University of Detroit-Mercy.

Ameri decided to apply her research skills to writing the book, and to develop strategies for overcoming misinformation about Islam. She says people should stay informed using a diverse selection of media to get an overall picture. That way, Ameri says they will be better able to separate what is true from politically motivated propaganda.
Ameri says demonstrations around the country protesting the Trump administration's recent executive order banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries have been ...