Nihad Awad warned during a talk at Wake Forest University on March 23 that if left unchecked, false propaganda denigrating Muslims and other religious and racial minorities could lead to barbarity similar to the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, which resulted in the deaths of 6 million Jews, not to mention homosexuals, people with disabilities, Slavs, Roma and communists during World War II.
Awad is the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a national organization dedicated to promoting understanding about Islam, defending civil rights and building coalitions with diverse groups.
"The past two years, ladies and gentleman, so many minorities have been attacked," Awad said. "Latinos. Mexicans. Women have been denigrated. African Americans. People with disabilities. You name the minority, and they have been attacked in the past two years. It is very unfortunate that it became so convenient for people to spread fear and fearmongering for political reasons, and unfortunately it works. Sometimes selling fear is effective. Fear is abhorred, is rejected by people with common sense. For people who don't know, it is a very selling product. In fact, it is a very profitable business to sell hate.