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Visting MTSU scholar to talk about what Americans can learn from their Muslim neighbors


  MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- A Middle Tennessee State visiting scholar says Americans can learn valuable lessons from the nation’s Muslim communities.


Grinnell College professor of history and religious studies Dr. Caleb Elfenbein researches the ongoing persecution Muslim-Americans endure.


He says much of the Islamic community has resisted the urge to return hatred for hatred. Instead, Professor Elfenbein contends Muslims have gone out of their way to be accessible.


“Opened themselves to others and have sought to be as transparent and welcoming as possible, and I think that's just a really amazing model for us to consider when we’re thinking about the place that fear has in our lives.”

Professor Elfenbein also directs a project that tracks Islamophobic incidents nationwide. The interactive website mappingislamophobia.org documents how the number of Islamophobic incidents has grown in recent years. 

The map also reveals that the overwhelming majority of such incidents in Tennessee have taken place here in the mid-state.

Dr. Elfenbein will present his research Thursday evening beginning at 6 p.m. in the State Farm Lecture Hall of the Business and Aerospace Building on the MTSU campus. 

The professor's lecture will be entitled “Fear in Your Heart: What Islamophobia Can tell us about Public Life in Today’s America.” The lecture is free and open to the public.