A Washington Post article dated March 9, 2006 is headlined “Negative Perception Of Islam Increasing”. It states, “As the war in Iraq grinds into its fourth year, a growing proportion of Americans are expressing unfavorable views of Islam, and the majority say that Muslims are disproportionately prone to violence.”
What the Administration wants to deny is there are growing numbers across the United States that do not buy into the politically correct montra that Islam is a peaceful religion. Their attitudes have become more and more negative concerning Muslims worldwide with the media reports about Islamic outrage and savagery.
The Muhammad cartoon riots resulting in property destruction and deaths are repeatedly used as examples of Islamic mindset. Political cartoons printed months ago in a Danish paper were used as justification to attack anything Western.
James Zogby, President of the Arab American Institute claims the growing negative attitude of the country is because, “Politicians, authors and media commentators have demonized the Arab world since 2001.”
It is clear there is no “Pro-Arab” attitude in Congress. The votes and comments coming forth from that body were so negative they resulted in a terminated a multi-billion dollar port management contract purchased by an Arab company.
Less than one month ago at the Intelligence Summit in Washington D.C. Brigitte Gabriel, a former news anchor with World News for Middle East television spoke to the committee. FrontPageMagazine.com reported her words on February 20. She said in apart, “As a victim of Islamic terror, I was amazed when I saw Americans waking up on September 12, 2001, and asking themselves ‘Why do they hate us?’ The psychoanalyst experts were coming up with all sorts of excuses as to what we did to offend the Muslim World. But, if America and the West were paying attention to the Middle East they would not have to ask the question. Simply put, they hate us because we are defined in their eyes by one simple word... Infidels.”
Brigitte grew up as a Christian in Lebanon. When she was ten years old Islamic terrorists blew up her home, leaving her buried under the rubble. For the next seven years she lived in a dark bomb shelter. By age 13 she was dressing in her burial clothes before going to bed each night, because she didn’t think she would live until morning. By age 20 she had buried most of her friends, all killed by Muslims. She says that all of Islam has declared and “Intifada” on the West.
A New York Times article on March 11, 2006 contains an even more damning story. Titled “For Muslim Who Says Violence Destroys Islam, Violent Threats” the article explains how Dr. Wafa Sultan, a Syrian-American psychiatrist appeared on Al Jazeera Television and speaking in Arabic bitterly criticized Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders who she claims have distorted the teachings of Muhammad and the Koran for 14 centuries.
The doctor, who was born and raised in Syria, charges that the world is not seeing a clash between religions but a battle between modernity and barbarism. She further feels it is a battle Islam will lose.
Some of her most provocative remarks concerned an unfavorable comparison between Muslims and Jews. Referring to the Holocaust she said, “The Jews have come from the tragedy and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not their terror, with their work, not their crying and yelling.”
“We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant,” she noted. “We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. Only Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them.”
Dr. Sultan says her life changed in 1979 when she was a student at the University of Aleppo in Syria. The Muslim Brotherhood burst into her classroom at the university and killed her professor as she watched. “They shot hundreds of bullets into him, shouting ‘God is great!’”
Since her appearance on Al Jazeera the doctor’s life has been repeatedly threatened, her telephone answering machine has been filled with hate messages and Muslim clerics around the world have condemned her. Even with that, her interview has been replayed on the Internet to more than 1 million viewers and emails of the complete text have been sent to hundreds of thousands around the world.
It is against this backdrop of articles, interviews and news bulletins that Americans have formed their opinions. In a new Washington Post poll 46 percent of Americans were found to have a negative view of Islam. According to that same poll the proportion of Americans who believe Islam helps to stoke violence against non-Muslims has more than doubled since the 9/11 attacks.
So, are we at war against terror or Islam? Only you can answer that question.