Reading Islam

An extended teachable moment
Prior to September 11, 2001, a substantial majority in the United States approached Islam with a strange kind of detailed ignorance. For many Americans the words Islam and Muslims evoked disjointed images of violence, religious fanaticism, rejection of the modern world, mistreated women, and praying men bowing in the direction of Mecca. Popular Western perceptions based largely on news reports and television images of war, revolution, hijackings, hostage-takings and mysterious societies seemingly closed to the outside world have been nurtured in the context of a long history of bias and misinformation.


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