CHICAGO Some Chicago-area Muslims have launched their own talk radio program, deciding it will be the best way to break down stereotypes about their faith.
''Whenever I hear the word 'Muslims' in the news it is always followed by something negative, a car bombing in Iraq...'' said Jenan Diab, the producer of ''Radio Islam,'' which debuted last Friday on WCEV-AM (1450). ''We want something positive for Muslims, we want to encourage them, we want to show non-Muslims something positive.''
The daily, hour-long call-in show, which is broadcast in English, will feature several Muslim-American hosts, including educators, physicians, religious leaders and attorneys and both Muslim and non-Muslim guests. Discussions are planned on a wide variety of issues, including those that are not specifically about Muslims.
''This is not about Muslims for Muslims,'' said the show's executive producer, Abdul Malik Mujahid, whose multimedia production company, Sound Vision, is broadcasting the show.
There is, for example, a planned discussion about media stereotypes of Arabs. And, he said, ''We will have a show in a couple of days on what parents can do to make television healthier for their children,'' Mujahid said.
He said the radio show is important because Muslims do not have the kind of access to mainstream media that they need to dispel some of the misperceptions about them.
''For example, people think many Muslims don't condemn beheadings and terrorism,'' he said. ''We condemn it every day, but nobody hears about it.''
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