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Watch a Film - Start a Dialogue - Make Peace Happen
20,000 Dialogues is a nationwide initiative that uses films to facilitate dialogue about Muslims and Islam. Watch the video to learn more.

Why Muslims? Why Now?

The misunderstandings between mainstream Americans and Muslims cause enormous challenges in our society. By enabling people to watch and discuss a film about Muslims, 20,000 Dialogues builds relationships across faiths, even at a time when current events cause tension.

Research Documents Misunderstandings about Muslims

News reports and research studies make Americans' misunderstandings about Muslims-and the need for dialogue-quite clear:

  • 48% of Americans hold an unfavourable opinion of Islam, the highest unfavourablity rating since 2001.
    ABC/Washington Post poll 2009

  • Unfamiliarity breeds skepticism: 53 percent of those who profess an understanding of some Islamic teachings view the religion favorably, compared with 31 percent of those who said they do not have that fluency.
    ABC/Washington Post poll 2009

  • Nearly three in 10, or 29 percent, said they see mainstream Islam as advocating violence against non-Muslims; although more, 58 percent, said it is a peaceful religion.
    ABC/Washington Post poll 2009

Americans' lack of familiarity with Muslims exacerbates their suspicions or questions about Muslims' loyalty to the U.S. or their "religious extremism." In fact, 31% of Americans surveyed by Gallup in 2006 reported that they were not acquainted with a Muslim.
20,000 Dialogues Builds Understanding and Familiarity

The 20,000 Dialogues idea is simple: watch a film and discuss it. The goals of 20,000 Dialogues are clear: build relationships, create a forum for sharing knowledge and opinions, and encourage greater understanding. We hope that dialogue participants will continue discussions on their own and work together to build relationships across faiths, even when people disagree.