The Los Angeles Times tut-tuts the "ignorance" of Islam that has led Americans to think that it is different from Judaism and Christianity, and encourages violence. Now where could they have gotten crazy ideas like those? Safaa Ibrahim, executive director of the Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is "not surprised. It's difficult to remove the tarnish of twisted interpretations of terrorists from what Islam means."
As this statement comes from a representative of a group that has been named an unindicted co-conspirator in a terror funding case, it's easy to see why it is so difficult.
The larger problem here is that neither CAIR nor any other Muslim group in the West has ever attempted to untwist the "twisted interpretations of terrorists." For example, CAIR signed and pushed the Fiqh Council of North America's condemnation of terrorism, which condemned the killing of innocent civilians, but neither the Council nor CAIR ever explained who exactly is an innocent civilian -- and some jihadists claim that no non-Muslim can possibly be innocent.
It also might be easier for CAIR to untwist the twisted terrorist interpretations of Islam if they would specify who are the terrorists whose interpretations need to be refuted. CAIR officials have consistently and on many occasions refused to condemn Hamas and Hizballah as terrorist groups.
Americans aren't stupid: they can recognize this kind of disingenuousness, even if the Los Angeles Times can't.
Note also that there is no hint in this piece that Muslims can do anything, or should do anything, to reverse these negative perceptions. It's all about non-Muslim "ignorance."
"Knowledge lacking of Islam, Mormonism," by Theo Milonopoulos in the Los Angeles Times (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
WASHINGTON -- Most Americans say they know little to nothing about the practices of Islam and Mormonism but say their own religious beliefs have little in common with either of these faiths, according to a national survey released Tuesday.
Forty-five percent of those polled said Islam was more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers. Nearly 1 in 3 respondents say Mormonism is not a Christian religion, the report said.
The survey of 3,002 Americans was conducted last month by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
Although 58% of respondents said they knew little or nothing about Islamic practices, 70% of non-Muslims said Islam was very different from their own religious beliefs.
Pew Forum senior fellow John Green said that respondents' knowledge of Islam might be even lower than the survey results suggested. Respondents "tend to overestimate their own knowledge, so these figures may well underestimate their lack of knowledge," he said.
The survey found that public attitudes toward Muslims have grown more negative in recent years, with 35% of respondents expressing an unfavorable view. In 2002, the figure was 29%. Respondents who knew a Muslim or who were college graduates were more likely to express positive views about Islam.
But the belief that Islam encourages violence has increased even among groups that have relatively favorable views of Muslims. According to the survey, college graduates are just as likely as those with no college experience to associate violence with Islam.
"We're not surprised," said Safaa Ibrahim, executive director of the Bay Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "It's difficult to remove the tarnish of twisted interpretations of terrorists from what Islam means."