The Islam Project

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The Islam Project

"Research and development was accomplished by Alvin Perlmutter, Director, the Independent Production Fund (IPF)." [1]

An Overview

"Muslim society is experiencing worldwide transformation. In the West this resurgence has been portrayed as predominantly political and militant. For more than twenty-five years, media images of urban terorism, beseiged embassies, Hamas and the Taliban have led American audiences to believe that Muslims may ber anti-democratic, oppressive, and prone to violence.

"But is this a true picture of Islam? Does it accurately represent the diversity of today's more than one billion Muslims? How representative is the "Islamic threat"? If it has been exaggerated, why? Why is Islam growing in popularity, vitality, and influence - from the markets of Malaysia to the halls of the US Capitol? What are the implications of Islam's resurgence for the United States?

"The Islam Project will address these questions.

"Providing safe and satisfying answers to Western viewers is best done by portraying Islam in vocabulary and images powerfully evocative of their Judeo-Christian heritage. The Islam Project proposes to place the diverse ways Muslims live their faith in the 21st century within such contextual understandings. And, through the compelling stories of Muslims from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and America, and opinions from experts on religion and international affairs, the Islam Project will report to an American audience about the history and cultures of Islam, and how Muslims live in the modern world.

"These documentaries, accompanied by an authoritative website, will step outside the black-and-white characterizations of most media coverage, to present an objective and informed portrait of the Muslim world." [2]

Key elements of the Islam Project

  • "Four half-hour ABC News Nightline specials for broadcast in late 2001. We are attempting to have the broadcasts coincide with Ramadan.
  • "A two-hour primetime PBS special for broadcast in late 2002." [3]


"Initiated and developed by the International Conflict Resolution Program at Columbia University, Dr. Andrea Bartoli, Director, in collaboration with a diverse group of scholars. Initial research and development funded by the William and Mary Greve Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York...

"Our budget is $3.2 million. We have received $1.2 million in grants from the Pew Charitable Trust and the William and Mary Greve Foundation, who agree with Professor Goldman of the Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism that documentaries like these which correct the impression of Islam need to be supported, produced, and watched." [4]

"Funding for The Islam Project, a national community engagement and educational outreach campaign, was provided by Carnegie Corporation of New York, The James Irvine Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, Surdna Foundation, and the Hasan Family Foundation." [5]



Resources and articles


  1. The Islam Project!,, accessed July 9, 2007.
  2. The Islam Project!,, accessed July 9, 2007.
  3. The Islam Project!,, accessed July 9, 2007.
  4. The Islam Project!,, accessed July 9, 2007.
  5. Home Page, The Islam Project, accessed July 9, 2007.