What people are saying about WISE Up

Thank you so much for taking time to meet with my staff and me, and thank you for what you are doing. Your presentation was excellent! I look forward to reading [WISE Up] and applying the information.

Ken Miller

Chief of Police, Greenville Police Department

[WISE Up] is based on the belief that knowledge is the most powerful weapon against all forms of extremism. This research and evidence-base book is filled with powerful graphics and supporting detail, aimed at not only countering the unfounded fears associated with Islam, but also providing practical information that members across the community - parents, faith leaders, friends, etc. - can use to prevent bullying, hate crimes, and extremist recruitment. WISE Up offers unclassified, practical guidance for communities to do something to address this particular brand of evil. Bottom line: WISE Up offers citizens an opportunity to be proactive, versus reactive.

Marisa Barthel

U.S. Intelligence (Ret.)

WISE Up brings a wide range of wise voices to the analysis of issues critical for the American Muslim community and for all Americans – the challenges of Islam in America, Islamic responses to extremist ideology, preventing extremist recruitment. We urgently need to hear the sixty Muslim men and women, scholars and activists, civic and religious leaders who have contributed to this critically important report

Diana Eck

Ph.D., Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies, Harvard University, Director of the Pluralism Project

WISE Up ... is a valuable resource for the Muslim community itself, policymakers, and politicians who are searching for more light and less heat in the current discussion regarding American Islam. Highly recommended.

Dr. Omid Safi

Director, Duke Islamic Studies Center, Duke University

We at Bayan Claremont appreciate the role of WISE in reaching out to leaders and the public with such a resource to clarify Islam's core values and teachings. Developing such literacy is an important part of creating a climate that exhibits mutual respect, upliftment, and hope for the future.

Jihad Turk

President, Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School

WISE UP is thorough, authoritative, and a much-needed overview of Islam. The work will be useful to Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike. The perfect book for adult study in a religious setting: be it Masjid/Mosque; Church, or synagogue.

Rabbi Burton L. Visotzky, Ph.D

Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies, Jewish Theological Seminary, New York

WISE Up is actively working to counter extremist misinformation that is distorting the message of Islam and recruiting vulnerable youth to engage in terrorist acts. WISE Up messaging is based on the research and teachings of foremost scholars and religious leaders, and provides an authoritative deconstruction of extremist distortions that justify violence against innocents. Global Peace Foundation USA is happy to partner with WISE and encourages others to join in the shared effort to promote peace, tolerance, and respect for all people.

Alan J. Inman

President, Global Peace Foundation - USA

Thank you for bringing this much-needed toolkit, WISE Up, to the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom. This timely resource will be used by our chapters and will also be shared by chapter members within their own communities to build knowledge providing the truth about Islam and to overcome the negative stereotypes and prejudice that surround us. WISE Up will help us to rise up against anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Sheryl Olitzky

Executive Director of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom

This report provides a thorough, in-depth response to the intersecting challenges of extremism and Islamophobia in our era. This Muslim-led report, drawing on some of the best scholarships to date on these issues, is accessible to a multitude of audiences and provides helpful entry points for conversation and action.

Catherine Orsborn

Campaign Director, Shoulder to Shoulder, Washington, DC

Vets for American Ideals is a nonpartisan group of veterans who believe America is its strongest when its policies and actions match its ideals. We stand firmly against Islamophobia and bigotry and work to educate the public and policymakers about the essential benefits of a pluralistic society. WISE Up is a welcomed and important tool for our veteran members across the country who are working to combat anti-Muslim hate and misinformation in their communities.

Scott Cooper

Founder, Vets for American Ideals, Washington, DC

Thank you so much for the work you and your team have done. It was inspiring to see all the faces in one room coming together to ask important questions and offer ways to address the problems head on.

WISE Up Summit Attendee

Thank you so much for your excellent work at the WISE Up Summit. I attended the entire conference and found so many great insights. I made good connections and reconnected with old friends. The report is an excellent resource! I appreciate how reader-friendly the materials are with charts and how you take on frequently asked questions in a thorough manner.

WISE Up Summit Attendee

I learned a great deal about Muslim culture and religion and our office is very impressed by the report…. The entire event was incredible and I am extremely grateful that I was able to be a part of the day.

WISE Up Summit Attendee

It was refreshing to see so many grassroots stakeholders on stage and in the crowd. Truly impressive!

WISE Up Summit Attendee

I was blown away by the turn out, quality and significance of what happened today. This was a total success. The next time someone says moderate peaceful Muslims don’t speak out we can show them what happened today. As they say, they can’t take that away from you. Now you can carry the message.

WISE Up Summit Attendee

I am floored how you pulled the book and program together with so much intelligence, creativity and foresight….A few years ago WISE Up was just a vision and collection of loose thoughts. Now, it’s a tangible, inspirational and knowledge-based foundation for Muslim and non-Muslims to better understand the peaceful tenets of Islam, the distortions of extremism and the critical importance of Muslims to our society.

WISE Up Summit Attendee

Congratulations on the heroic and important work!

WISE Up Summit Attendee

Congratulations on the book and the event…I truly, sincerely hope it contributes to changing the narrative.

WISE Up Summit Attendee

I found the event to be very uplifting. Thank you for inviting us and thank you for all the work WISE is doing.

WISE Up Summit Attendee

Congratulations for all that you have achieved. I've spoken with a number of the attendees and speakers [and] all agree that you brought together a diverse group and created an atmosphere in which compassion and respect for others was the order of the day. I was particularly struck by the speakers' self-confidence and absence of a political agenda, as I believe that the solution to the rise of Islamist extremism and Islamophobia lies in developing a broad societal consensus -- among Muslims and non-Muslims alike -- not to politicize Islam.

WISE Up Summit Attendee

The Report looks fabulous-- a monumental piece of work.

WISE Up Summit Attendee

The WISE Up Report ... is based on the belief that knowledge is the most powerful weapon against all forms of extremism. This research and evidence-base book is filled with powerful graphics and supporting detail, aimed at not only countering the unfounded fears associated with Islam, but also providing practical information that members across the community - parents, faith leaders, friends, etc. - can use to prevent bullying, hate crimes, and extremist recruitment. I embrace the belief that 'all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'. WISE Up offers unclassified, practical guidance for communities to do something to address this particular brand of evil. Bottom line: WISE Up offers citizens an opportunity to be proactive, versus reactive.

Retired Counterterrorism Expert

Thank you for the wonderful seminar on Friday afternoon. Your presentation was interesting and brought together a crucial perspective for the students.

Kelly A. Berkell

Research Fellow at the Center on Terrorism, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY

Thank you so much for your wonderful presentation and your kindness and patience with my students… You are both doing the work of the Lord!

Charles B. Strozier

Founding Director of the Center on Terrorism, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY

Thank you for the book "Wise Up" which I am in the middle of reading. As Jewish Clergy, I have for years stumbled around in ignorance about who Muslims are, what they believe and all the half-truths that have taken hold since 9-11. I am grateful for your book and how it has opened my eyes to what is real in Islam. Thank you.

Hazzan Harold Messinger

Hazzan and Member of the Jewish Clergy at Beth Am Israel, Penn Valley, PA

[Muslim Peace Fellowship applauds] ... the WISE Up Guide and Campaign for gathering an insightful, relevant and authoritative collection of articles highlighting Islam as a religion of compassion, pluralism and peace. We welcome this opportunity to join Islamic institutions across the nation to make a definitive call to Congress, the media, and the American public to hear, recognize, and embrace our honorable and authentic American Muslim narrative.

Rabia Terri Harri

Founder and Director, Muslim Peace Fellowship, Stony Point, NY

At this polarized time in the history of our nation, the WISE Up Campaign offers an essential and invaluable resource guide to combat ignorance and suspicion with knowledge and strategy. An essential read for anyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, who seeks to build healthier and inclusive communities in America.

Sophia Said

Chairperson, Madina Institute and Masjid, Little Rock, AR

WISE Up truly is a profoundly wise initiative! Having passionately vested three decades to the critical cause of nurturing inter-faith understanding across the U.S.and abroad, I wholeheartedly commend this strategic approach to enlighten and empower the Media, Interfaith, Government and Muslim sectors with an authoritative, evidentiary, knowledge-based counter to today's cacophony of radicalism and extremism. This is an absolute must-have interfaith resource today!

Kareem M. Irfan

Esq., Past President: Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, Past Chair: Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago

The International Museum of Muslim Cultures (IMMC) supports and joins in partnership with WISE Up in uniting and amplifying the Muslim American Voice across America. We stand united in peace for freedom, justice, equality, and dignity for all with people of good will in America and the world, and in the conviction that G-d is One.

Okolo Rashid

Co-founder and President and Emad Al-Turk, Co-founder and Chairman,” International Museum of Muslim Cultures, Jackson, MI

It's a great idea. We are looking forward to reviewing and utilizing topics related to misconceptions affecting Muslims and non-Muslims in America today.

Mateen March

Northwest Islamic Community Center in Minnesota

The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro supports the efforts of WISE in combating Islamophobia and extremism. The WISE Up report will be a valuable resource that explains the true nature of Islam while exposing the evil tactics used by Islamophobes and extremists. Ignorance and misconceptions can be only eradicated by education and truth.

Dr. Saleh M. Sbenaty

Professor and Program Coordinator for Computer Engineering Technology, Middle Tennessee State University

The Islamic Community Center of Phoenix enthusiastically support and endorse WISE Up Guide and campaign. Our Muslim community witnessed firsthand the dangers of extremism, and suffered bigotry with armed protesters intimidating our worshippers, and then experienced the overwhelming love and support from our neighbors, we appreciate the significance of your campaign to help reaching out to our neighbors and elected officials and to help educating and enlightening them about our peaceful faith.

Sama Sham

President, Islamic Community Center of Phoenix

This is a positive campaign for people of faith in general and humanity and society as a whole. Our community welcomes initiatives like these that work to create shared meaning with shared understanding of universal principles and values as our focal point.

Imam Muhammad Shoayb

Mehtar of the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake, UT

I stand firmly alongside Rep. Keith Ellison and others in support of the WISE Up American Muslim campaign. As a Muslim peace activist and interfaith speaker and educator, I applaud the WISE organization and their mission to clearly articulate the peaceful message of Islam, particularly at this time when many work very hard to defame Islam. There has never been a more crucial fork in the road for American Muslims. I strongly support and join you in your [efforts].

Lisa Zaynab Killing

DC, Immediate past President, Muslim Community of the Quad Cities, Bettendorf, IA

The Mother Mosque of America is proud to be part of this endeavor and sending the right message of Islam in America, whether this message is to the Muslim community or to the non-Muslim community. To educate the public about Islam is not an easy task, especially with what’s going on in the media, yet people want some trusted source to help them get truthful information about Islam and Muslims in America, and also our officials are in need of special information to help them protect the religious rights of Muslims. The Mother Mosque of America is on the national historic places, and active in...schools, churches etc. I feel that this project is great, and the Mother Mosque would like to be part of it.

Imam Taha Tawi

Executive Director, Mother Mosque of America, Cedar Rapids, IA

On behalf of our Muslim community at Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center (CIMIC); we want to congratulate you on the good work that went into your efforts to give non-Muslims information that will clear up many misunderstandings and issues about Islam. We endorse your effort in this matter.

Waleed Jassim

President, Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center (CIMIC), Urbana, IL

The Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement (RICMA) supports the WISE Up American Muslim Community Initiative in its efforts to empower Muslim communities and lawmakers with information and tools to support American Muslims. The tools and materials developed and provided by WISE Up are focused on giving communities accurate information to make clear the distinctions between the peaceful practice of Islam and those who commit acts of terror in the name of Islam. RICMA shares WISE Up's focus on education, advocacy, and bridge building.

Imam Adnan Adrian Wood-Smith

President, Rhode Island Council for Muslim Advancement (RICMA)

We are really hopeful and impressed by this great work of yours. I believe our peaceful religion has not yet been properly introduced to the American people at both levels government and community, and I hope this project would be a solid step toward that. On behalf of the Muslim community here in VT, we endorse your project hoping that the peaceful message of Islam could be better understood.

Imam Islam Hassan

Islamic Society of Vermont, Colchester, VT

This is a great initiative to unify the American Muslim voice and establish the true American Muslim narrative.

Mizanur Rahma

President, Islamic Society of Frederick, MD

What a wonderful idea and cause! Thank you for including us! We are working to find ways to reach out to our local community and are also trying to redefine our current structure within ISSA. [WISE Up] will be very helpful to us! We look forward to hearing how WISE is doing with this campaign as well as ways that we may be able to work together

Dover, NH

Islamic Society of the Seacoast Area

Thank you and WISE Up for your great efforts, especially the campaign and "call to action" that gives voice to the American Muslim community. I am with you in the campaign as much as I can.

Dr. Imam Mohammad Qatanani

Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC) in Paterson and Clifton, NJ

WISE Up is a valuable resource for anyone interested in true Islam and facts on Muslims. I envision extensive benefit to the Muslim community itself; academics; policy makers; and politicians who are searching for enlightening, accurate, diverse reflections of the Islamic and Muslim mosaic. Highly recommended.

Dr. Amr Fass

Executive Director, Islamic Society of Boston, Cambridge, MA

Speaking truth to power these days is often folly disguised as fact. But not for WISE Up! It’s daring in its outspokenness, keenly calling out extremisms, radicalisms, and Islamisms on both sides of the aisle. Its comprehensive reach is intellectually stimulating yet broadly conceived to include the neighborhood kid, the everyday reader, the policy maker, and the media pundit. If ever our world were in need of respite from today’s assaults on civic virtue and religious integrity, the remedy would certainly include a sound grasp of this volume.

Dr. Zain Abdullah

author of Black Mecca: The African Muslims of Harlem; Associate Professor of Religion & Society and Islamic Studies, Temple University

“A timely study that offers a remarkable toolkit for leaders seeking to understand the religion of Islam and best practices to combat extremism at home and abroad.”

Darrell Ezell, Ph.D

, Author, Beyond Cairo: U.S. Engagement with the Muslim World; V.P. for Academic Affairs, Claremont Lincoln University

WISE Up is an urgently needed corrective to the all-too-common distortions of the true teachings of Islam... Muslims and non-Muslims alike will find this book a helpful resource.

Dr. Yehezkel Landau

Author, interfaith educator and consultant

All of us will benefit from a ‘more nuanced and informed debate.’... This volume is also a vital tool for all Muslims who wish to reclaim their faith.

Jonathan Golden, Ph.D

Drew University, Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict

Long overdue! ...WISE Upeviscerates the stereotypes, clichés and misinformation about Muslim Americans and their religion that too often dominates our national dialogue.

Professor Lawrence Pintak

(Washington State University) and co-editor, Islam for Journalists (and everyone else)

It is a textbook, handbook and a practical workbook all in one. While this book is focused on Islam, it wrestles with the challenges that every religion faces in the modern world. I congratulate WISE for what promises to be an extremely valuable resource.

Dr. Tony Tian-Ren Lin

Managing Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia