Religion & Democracy, an interfaith special, to be broadcast June 26, 2016 on CBS

 Dalia Mogahed

Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU)

Religion & Democracy, a CBS Interfaith Special, looks at the challenges America is facing – as one of the most diverse democratic countries in the world – when it comes to religious hate and intolerance, and in particular examines the conditions that are fueling anti-Muslim sentiment. This special broadcast will air on the CBS Television Network Sunday, June 26 (check local listings ).

Among those featured on the program is Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU). A recent ISPU survey revealed that last year Muslims reported more religious discrimination than Jews, Protestants and Catholics. She talks about how living in a climate of fear and intolerance affects the Muslim community and society as a whole.

 Charles C. Haynes

Charles C. Haynes, Founding Director of the Religious Freedom Center at the Newseum Institute

While Islam is the second-largest religion in the world, the majority of Americans are misinformed about the tradition. Charles C. Haynes, Founding Director of the Religious Freedom Center at the Newseum Institute, is a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center and a leading advocate for teaching about religion in public schools. Haynes argues that the best way to counter intolerance is through religious literacy and that teaching young people about religion is more important now than ever.

We look in on a world-religions class discussion about how Islam is portrayed in the media, and we hear how students have been affected by the class. Their teacher, Chris Murray, at Walter Johnson High School in Maryland, says that most students have very little understanding about religion and that his class makes them better citizens and advocates.

Muslims in America are also doing what they can to counter religious bigotry by becoming more civically engaged. This special features the story of Ilhan Omar, a Somali American who is running for Minnesota State Legislature District 60B. Omar shares her story of coming to America as a young refugee and explains what prompted her to run for office in one of the most diverse communities in Minneapolis.

John P. Blessington is Senior Executive Producer, and Liz Kineke is Producer. In creating the topics and content of this CBS Cultural & Religious Documentary, they sought from religious scholars, clergy and others, including Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Islamic, Sikh and various interfaith organizations.

After the June 26 air date, this program may be viewed again at www.cbsnews.com/religion-and-culture. “Like” us on Facebook.com/CBSReligion and follow us on Twitter @CBSReligion.


Press Contact: Phoebe Gittelson, 212-975-4796 [email protected]

 
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