Rebranding Islam in America

A session at SXSW Interactive 2011

Tuesday 15th March, 2011

11:00am to 12:00pm (CST)

As the controversy of the Cordoba Cultural Center (aka “The Ground Zero Mosque”) heightens, the issues of religious freedom and tolerance have garnered credible support from both sides of the fence, but there is one thing every will agree on: The terrorists own the share of voice, top of mind for all of Islam. Perhaps the majority of Moslems are peaceful people, but the terrorist voice is getting all the attention—creating fear in the US and beyond. Of course the issues surrounding religious practices of ancient Islam cannot be reduced to a better brand campaign, but it surely wouldn't hurt.

In this era of accessible information, does Islam need a new brand identity? With much of the media and political community already of Facebook and Twitter (i.e. John McCain, Anthony Weiner, Obama) intended to educate and inform the public, can the American Moslem community and other influential political figures lead a campaign that clearly divorces Modern Islam from the terrorists by promoting modern views of a less murderous interpretation of the Koran?

This controversy will define us as Americans and as human beings and to open up this dialogue is one of the most important issues of this decade.

This panel will bring together leaders of the Moslem American community, political figures who get social media, and PR and brand strategists who can foster the sensitive dialogue between religion/politics and public relations/branding.

LEVEL: Advanced

About the speakers

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Alona Elkayam

Alona is The Iconomist. Founder, http://www.321worldwide.com + http://www.farfromtimid.com. Creator Best + Worst Dressed Brands of the Week Huffington Post bio from Twitter

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Michael Maslansky

language strategist helping companies and associations find messages that work, author of the language of trust: Selling Ideas in a world of skeptics bio from Twitter

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Daisy Khan

Executive Director and Co-Founder of American Society of Muslim Advancement bio from Twitter

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Joel Mowbray
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Zeenat Rahman

Deputy Director Center for Faith Based and Community Initiatives at USAID.Co-founder of The Hijabi Monologues, formerly w/ IFYC.Tweets represent my own views. bio from Twitter

Next session in Room 9ABC

12:30pm Hamlet's Blackberry by William Powers

9 attendees

  • Alona Elkayam | 321
  • Daisy Khan, ASMA
  • Dan Berger
  • Dawn Marie B
  • Jessica Ivins
  • James Mowbray
  • michael maslansky
  • Sarah Khan
  • zeenat

6 trackers

  • afdhel aziz
  • Jeremy Carbaugh
  • Loulia Miller
  • Mark
  • Robb Hamilton
  • Joe Newton

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Time 11:00am12:00pm CST

Date Tue 15th March 2011


Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

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