Dr. Parvez Ahmed, current Chairman of the Board for CAIR and professor of finance at University of North Florida, opened the panel discussion by addressing the causes of Islamophobia. Ahmed suggested that “fear without reason,” fueled by government policies and media attention, is the root cause of Islamophobia. Ahmed stated that policies toward Muslims have been driven by paranoia rather than pragmatism and that mass media continue to focus on “the narrow band of extremists.”

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