Librarian Combats Muslim Stereotypes

Did you know that Muslims account for nearly 20 percent of the world’s population and that Islam is the world’s largest single religion? There is a librarian and a Muslim who is changing people’s stereotypes just by talking to them.

“I don’t wear a head scarf, so people don’t see me and say, ‘She’s a Muslim,’” said a librarian at Itasca (IL) Community Library. “With the media, people out there kind of assume all Muslims look a certain way. And seeing me, questions were borne in their minds just looking at me and talking to me. I think I posed a lot of alternatives in their minds about Muslims.”

Her conversations with curious patrons at the library eventually led to the idea to take her knowledge to the broader public by giving informational presentations on Muslim life and religion. So, in spring 2005, she took the presentations on the road to libraries across the Chicago area. On Saturday, Jan. 24, she will present “Muslims 101” at the Westchester (IL) Public Library. My Suburban Life.


If she is telling people, "Muslims are nearly 20 percent of the world’s population and Islam is the world’s largest single religion. Catholicism ranks second with just more than 17 percent. Christians, in general, make up about 33 percent of the population", then she is being disingenuous and is comparing apples to oranges to fudge a point.

She is splitting up Christians into several different groups to reduce their numbers, and not doing the same to Islam, which is divided into Shia and Sunni. These are certainly as different one from another in Islam as Catholicism and Protestantism are in Christianity. If you don't believe that, ask any Iranian mullah or Wahibi cleric.

As a librarian, she should videotape her presentation, then have a reference librarian act as a fact checker to make sure that what she says about Islam and other religions are correct.

R. Lee Hadden (These are my own opinions!)

There are 700 Million more Christians than Muslims. There are 2.1 Billion Christians, and at most 1.5 million Muslims.

Hi Lee and Anonymous 12,

I'm Asra. Just wanted to let you know that the population stats comparing Muslims to Catholics/Christians was inserted by the journalist who wrote the article. I discuss demographics in my presentation, but keep it strictly to Muslim populations by country -- cullling numbers from CIA World Factbook, National Geographic sources, etc. I do not discuss these numbers relative to the world's Christians, Jews, Hindus, or any other religious groups as I don't really see the point in doing so.

Thanks and have a great day,

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