March 13, 2006
A growing number of Americans are expressing unfavorable views of Islam and a majority now says that Muslims are disproportionately prone to violence. Gee, I wonder where they got that idea?
A new ABC News-Washington Post poll found nearly half of Americans have a negative view of Islam and that figure is seven percentage points higher than in the tense months after September 11.
James Zogby, president of the Arab-American Institute, says he is not surprised by the poll results. He says politicians, authors and media commentators have demonized the Arab world since 2001.
He’s got the demon part right, but the Arab world has demonized itself, not only tolerating, but promoting anti-Jewish, anti-Christian and anti-western views. From sermons in their mosques, to stories, editorials and cartoons in their newspapers and the most horrid hate on their television screens; the Arab world has demonized itself.
Instead of spinning this as a matter of western bigotry, the Muslim world ought to be concerned about cleaning up its act; unless, of course, this is its act.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.