Dallas-Fort Worth, meet Hammad Fazlani of Plano.
Fazlani is a senior at the University of Texas at Dallas where he studies software engineering. He likes playing basketball and football and enjoys hanging out with his fraternity brothers.
He’s also the subject of a new video series called “Meet-a-Muslim Monday,” which will profile a different Muslim from DFW every week.
In an effort to make its community more accessible to the rest of the Metroplex, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) DFW announced the series last week.
“We want to give the public a flavor of the true diversity of the Muslim community in DFW,” said John Janney, the executive director of the CAIR-DFW chapter.
Janney said the idea for the series came from the increasing hostility toward Muslims. CAIR’s 2018 Civil Rights Report found a 17 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents nationwide from 2016 to 2017. Texas recorded the second-highest number of anti-Muslim bias incidents in the country at 395.
“This is the only place I can think of where there are armed protestors outside the mosque,” he said.
According to another study from the Pew Research Center of countries in Western Europe, “people who say they personally know a Muslim are generally more likely than others to have positive opinions of Muslims and their religion.”
Janney said CAIR-DFW would like to use that finding locally.
“We hope that these short introductions help bridge gaps of understanding between our community and members of other faith groups,” Janney said.