AS IT HAPPENED: Doğan Group holds panel in US against Islamophobia
Left to Right: Mehmet Aydın, Zainab Salbi, Vuslat Doğan Sabancı, Karen Armstrong, Vali NasrTurkey’s Doğan Group held a panel in Washington on Oct. 20 in a bid to globally fight against the fallacies and prejudices directed toward Islam.
The panel titled “Islamophobia: Overcoming Myths and Engaging in a Better Conversation” was organized in cooperation with the U.S.-based Atlantic Council think tank and the Smithsonian Institution.
Hürriyet Chairwoman Vuslat Doğan Sabancı delivered the opening speech of the panel, which will be moderated by the president and CEO of the Atlantic Council, Frederick Kempe.
“Islamophobia is a phobia, which is a fear of the unknown. If we put it so simply then the answer is very simple. Let’s get rid of the phobia. Let’s get to know each other,” Doğan Sabancı said.
“We can introduce a new language in journalism where we can ask question so that the other side is heard,” she said.
"Freedom of speech should not be exercised at expense of attacking one's dignity, faith," Doğan Sabancı added.
The panel also featured author and comparative religion commentator Karen Armstrong; former Turkish State Minister Mehmet Aydın; the dean of the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, Vali Nasr, and renowned human rights activist Zainab Salbi.
"This is not going to go away if ISIS is defeated or with US foreign policy change," Nasr said.
"Muslims need to co-own this issue. This is not about us or them," Salbi said.
"Looking at history, when these phobias blow up, they've often been succeeded by appalling actions," Armstrong said.
Meanwhile, the opening gala of the exhibition titled “The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts” was held on Oct. 19 at the Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian.
Marking a first in the U.S., centuries-old Qur’ans taken from the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum in Istanbul will be exhibited during the exhibition, which is being sponsored by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Koç Holding, Doğan Group and Turkish Airlines.
The exhibition will be open through Feb. 20, 2017.