Hundreds of people are gathered for a conference at the Washington Convention Center to explore how to combat stereotyping of Muslims.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, American Muslims have faced threats of violence, name calling and other acts of bigotry purely because of their faith.
During Saturday's conference, Muslim scholars and religious leaders are telling the audience to combat persecution with mercy and compassion.
Dr. Merve Kavakci-Islam says the Muslim community needs to help change the perception of their faith in this post 9/11 world.
"A religion known for its commitment to peace is now somehow associated with violence," says Kavakci-Islam. "That's the reality. To attack that reality, to tackle the problematic, we must both look within and without."
Speakers do say the attacks a decade ago have opened up a broader, interfaith dialogue in the U.S.