Notes on Islamophobia, helping traumatized Muslim children, and combating racism within American Islam

Notes on Islamophobia, helping traumatized Muslim children, and combating racism within American Islam February 22, 2019


Haywood over Sydney
An aerial view of Sydney Harbour, where the hotel for the first portion of our recent trip there was located, I think, just beyond the upper left edge of this photo.  (Wikimedia CC Photo by Rodney Haywood)


I had almost forgotten about the radio interview that I recorded in Sydney with Dr. Rachael Kohn of ABC Radio National, the Australia-wide Public Service Broadcasting radio network run by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  It took place while I was in Australia late last year (2018).


It was, I believe, my fifth interview with Dr. Kohn — the third of three interviews recorded in Sydney, Australia, while the others were done in Provo, Utah, and in Istanbul, Turkey.  And, regrettably, it will be my last interview with her, because she retired from ABC Radio National at the end of 2018.  It’s unfortunate because she is an extraordinarily intelligent observer of the religious scene in Australia and beyond — and because, as she herself lamented to me in conversation after the completion of the interview, both print and broadcast journalists in Australia, the United States, Canada, and elsewhere are less and less informed about even the most basic facts regarding world religions.  This is especially to be lamented given the (perhaps increasingly) important role that religious beliefs appear to play in social and political issues around the world.  (Mainstream journalism’s general failure to give adequate or even accurate coverage to religious issues is a significant recurring theme among those who contribute to the invaluable Get Religion website, from which I occasionally draw.)


Anyway, my conversation with Dr. Rachael Kohn can be heard as part of an episode of her radio program (“The Spirit of Things”) that is archived and available on the Radio National (RN) website under the title of “Muslim Achievers and Islamophobia”:


Here’s the part of the description of the program that’s relevant to my involvement in it:


“Daniel Peterson is Professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, is in Australia to talk about Islamophobia.  He directed a major translation project of classic Arabic volumes, and he tells Rachael why, as a Mormon, he is committed to spreading appreciation of Islam.”




This seems to me a genuinely wonderful — and quite courageous — effort:


“‘Trauma Toys’ bring peace to children fleeing ISIS”




And here’s a very interesting effort that’s underway within the American Muslim community:


“In Detroit, one organization is schooling Muslims on racial justice”



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