Author and non-profit founder Michael Wolfe contributes a special commentary on CNN, concerning the needed voices of Muslims in US Media and journalism. Wolfe asks: “With all the focus on Islam and Muslims in the news, the voices of American Muslim civic leaders, or even ordinary Muslims going about their daily business, are too often missing in stories about their own communities here and abroad. Why is it we so often hear what this or that expert thinks about Muslims yet so rarely hear what Muslims themselves think?” His CNN commentary questions the all the all too common remarks that Muslims don’t show their faces to American media enough, but Wolfe argues that Muslim Americans are still striving to make their voices heard on various American media platforms. Wolfe points to the increasing vocality of Muslim American bloggers such as Eboo Patel, Wajahat Ali, and Souheila Al-Jada – who are contributing to the marketplace of ideas online and sharing their perspectives on important issues. For those “American Muslims, who have often found themselves left out of mainstream media discourse, the possibilities are now vastly improved,” he writes.
Several organizers are planning a symposium on May 9th in Valencia, to discuss the importance of the media, and how Islam is represented by various communication services. The primary goal o the meeting is to establish a roadmap or manual for journalists and journalism students that contains agreed upon consensus about issues related to the Islamic world. In addition, the aim is to promote a pluralistic and open debate about how to cover media information concerning the Islamic world, and to promote a two-way discussion to try to define some concepts that are presented in the media on a frequent basis, to avoid misinterpretation or biased views. The organizers of the symposium include the Islamic Cultural Center of Valencia and the Higher Council of the Valencia Region, and it is sponsored by the University of Valencia.