1. The overwhelming majority of students (88.5%) have never experienced a Muslim country first hand. (The screening participants who had visited a Muslim country have been faculty members or students of an ethnic background.)
2. Following are student impressions of what are the most common words in the US associated with Muslims:
- BEFORE THE FILM: 137 students (87.8%) marked the terms “terrorism/violence” while only 10 students (6.4%) marked the terms “hospitality/humor”
3. Following are student statements after watching the film of what words they personally associate with Muslims:
- AFTER THE FILM: only 8 students (5.1%) marked the terms “terrorism/violence” while 136 students (87.2%) marked the terms “hospitality/humor”
- Participants of the film screening saw the general perception of Muslims within society as overwhelmingly negative, while their personal view was overwhelmingly positive after viewing the film. It is a striking outcome to see that the perception of the general public in the US and the personal view of screening participants is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE.
- Film screenings combined with open discussions and with the survey are powerful tools to enhance the skills for critical thinking by students. The film had an impact on campuses when it was used as a starting point for discussions between students of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds about subjects such as “The role of media in the formation of stereotypes”, or “Preconceptions and intercultural relations between students on campus.”, and others.
4. Students exposure / interest in intercultural activities:
- · BEFORE THE FILM: 133 participants (85.2%) marked that they had very little (27 students) or never (106 students) participated in interfaith dialog
- · AFTER THE FILM: 135 participants (86.5%) marked that they would be interested in interfaith dialog (77 yes, 58 maybe).
- This is a dramatic shift of participants during the film screening. 85% moved from not having participated in interfaith dialogue towards openness to such events and efforts. This is an inspiring indication that students are interested in the creation of more intercultural activities on campuses. 45% of students left their email addresses on the survey paper in order to kick-start such intercultural events on their campus.