This is basically a dog-bites-man story; the Washington Post reports on its poll showing that a growing number of Americans express disapproval of Islam, and a majority now say there are more violent extremists among Muslims than other religions. The Post could have attributed these findings to the fact that lots of people follow the news. Instead, being the Post, it quotes far-left professor Juan Cole:
Americans have been given the message to respond this way by the American political elite, mass media and by select special interests.
Those “select special interests” would be Jews, I suppose.
The Post also provides some unintentional humor by quoting Professor Ronald Stockton:
You’re getting a constant drumbeat of negative information about Islam.
That’s true. The drumbeat consists of news stories about bombings, violent demonstrations, demands that others conform to their religious practices, threats to obliterate other countries, beheadings, and so on. That’s “negative information,” all right.
What I really wanted to comment on, though, was this sentence near the beginning of the Post’s article:
The poll found that nearly half of Americans — 46 percent — have a negative view of Islam, seven percentage points higher than in the tense months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, when Muslims were often targeted for violence.
That’s a false statement. In fact, the restraint that Americans showed in the months after September 11 in not blaming American Muslims for the attacks, let alone carrying out violent attacks on them, was remarkable. Nevertheless, what we’re seeing here is history being rewritten. In a few years, it will be commonplace for books, newspapers, magazines and television broadcasts to record as a “fact” that after September 11, “Muslims were often targeted for violence.” And I’m afraid that’s what our children and grandchildren will be taught in school, regardless of the actual facts.
This ties in, I think, with a second story in today’s news: “China Lashes Back at U.S. on Human Rights”:
China on Thursday lashed out against U.S. criticism of its human rights record, saying racial discrimination and crime were still rife in the United States and prisoners were being abused at U.S.-run detention centers abroad.
The State Council, China’s cabinet, denounced the United States for what it said were rampant violence and widespread discrimination against minorities