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KUOW Senior Editor Jim Gates at Thanksgiving Uncensored This is where KUOW listeners meet: to discuss important issues in their communities, to celebrate cultural differences, to hear moving stories up close.For real-time updates on our events, community conversations and other happenings, follow KUOW on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our Events Newsletter:Sign Up HereHave an idea for a unique event KUOW could help with? Email

Ask a Muslim, close the knowledge gap

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today. In 2010, researchers counted 1.6 billion Muslims around the globe; approximately 23 percent of the world population. 

There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States; approximately 1 percent of our population. In the wake of 9/11, President George Bush said this about Muslim Americans:

"America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country. Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads. And they need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect."

Fifteen years later, how well have we heeded that call? Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump has called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States" during his first 100 days in office. 

In a media climate that commonly pairs the words Muslim and Islamic with the terms terrorism, radicalism and extremism, the simple answer is not enough.

This year KUOW's Community Engagement team began a project to address this knowledge gap. Their goal was to create a safe and respectful environment for people to explore each other's cultures. 

The "Ask A Muslim" event brought together small groups of Muslims and non-Muslims to begin a conversation.

The most recent event took place at the New Holly Gathering Hall on July 24. We're featuring sample recordings here.

[asset-images[{"caption": "Erin Durrett and Amanda Saab", "fid": "128433", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201607/1_erin_amanda_0.jpg", "attribution": "Credit KUOW Photo/John O'Brien"}]]

[asset-images[{"caption": "Glenda Johnson and Ahlaam Ibraahim", "fid": "128435", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201607/2_glenda_ahlaam.jpg", "attribution": "Credit KUOW Photo/John O'Brien"}]]

[asset-audio[{"description": "Glenda Johnson and Ahlaam Ibraahim", "fid": "128436", "uri": "npraudio://201607/20160724_AAMuslim_2.mp3"}]]

[asset-images[{"caption": "Ahmed Ali and Devin Pearsall", "fid": "128437", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201607/3_ahmed_devin.jpg", "attribution": "Credit KUOW Photo/John O'Brien"}]]

[asset-audio[{"description": "Ahmed Ali and Devin Pearsall", "fid": "128438", "uri": "npraudio://201607/20160724_AAMuslim_3.mp3"}]]

[asset-images[{"caption": "John Harrison and Amanda Smith", "fid": "128439", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201607/4_john_amanda.jpg", "attribution": "Credit KUOW Photo/John O'Brien"}]]

[asset-audio[{"description": "John Harrison and Amanda Smith", "fid": "128440", "uri": "public://201607/20160724_AAMuslim_4.mp3"}]]

[asset-images[{"caption": "Sumayyah Waheed and Kathryn Pursch Cornforth", "fid": "128441", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201607/5_sumayyah_kathryn.jpg", "attribution": "Credit KUOW Photo/John O'Brien"}]]

[asset-audio[{"description": "Sumayyah Waheed and Kathryn Pursch Cornforth", "fid": "128442", "uri": "public://201607/20160724_AAMuslim_5.mp3"}]]

[asset-images[{"caption": "Charlotte Zachary and Janet Clark", "fid": "128429", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201607/6_charlotte_janet.jpg", "attribution": "Credit KUOW Photo/John O'Brien"}]]

[asset-audio[{"description": "Charlotte Zachary and Janet Clark", "fid": "128430", "uri": "public://201607/20160724_AAMuslim_6.mp3"}]]

[asset-images[{"caption": "Mohamed Bakr and Jonathan Steele ", "fid": "128420", "style": "placed_wide", "uri": "public://201607/7_mohamed_jonathan.jpg", "attribution": "Credit KUOW Photo/John O'Brien"}]]

[asset-audio[{"description": "Mohamed Bakr and Jonathan Steele", "fid": "128422", "uri": "public://201607/20160724_AAMuslim_7.mp3"}]]

Year started with KUOW: 2006