A Response to CNN’s 25 Influential American Muslims List

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CNN Center in Atlanta (Photo: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)
CNN Center in Atlanta (Photo: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

A group of Muslim reformers has written a strong response to a list of 25 influential American Muslims created by CNN.

Unsurprisingly, the CNN list includes Linda Sarsour and a host of other Muslims the reform movement finds unpalatable.

While CNN’s list includes some heavy-hitting voices among American Muslims, it is dangerously void of any controversy or diversity of opinion that reflects the rich tapestry of American Muslim. We urge media outlets to be more well-researched in the anti-American attitudes adopted by figures they choose to applaud with time-slots, interviews and laurels of credibility. It is highly irresponsible to conflate commendable voices within the CNN top 25 list with voices that routinely strangle Muslims with one hand while raising fist to air in demonstrations against the same marginalization and supremacism they complain of when crying “Islamophobia.” Outright anti-Islam sentiment and veiled bigotry are real concerns, but often those the American media sees as champions against these practices are the same people who exert the same oppression within their own faith group.

This is part of the response from the reformers who include a sheikh, a female imam and Shireen Qudosi, who woks closely with Clarion Project.

You can see the reformers’ alternative list here.



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