March 10, 2006

Why are Americans getting more anti-Muslim?

The Washington Post reports:

Negative Perception Of Islam Increasing: Poll Numbers in U.S. Higher Than in 2001

As the war in Iraq grinds into its fourth year, a growing proportion of Americans are expressing unfavorable views of Islam, and a majority now say that Muslims are disproportionately prone to violence, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

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,

Now, why would that be? Well, running through my head is that song from Rodgers & Hammerstein's "The King and I" in which Deborah Kerr sings to Yul Brynner's dozens of children:

Getting to know you,
Getting to know all about you.

Perhaps, the more that Americans pay attention to Muslims, the more that they get on our nerves.

But, James Taranto, the WSJ Editorial Page's online editor and a fervent advocate of invade-the-world-invite-the-world, won't fall for such a simple, obvious explanation, not when he can wield Occam's Vegematic to slice and dice his way to his predetermined conclusion: It's the anti-American American media's fault!

But how could it be that Americans are more hostile to Islam today than they were in the immediate aftermath of an Islamist massacre in New York? Our sense is that the media's antiwar bias is feeding the public's anti-Muslim bias. By relentlessly focusing on the bad news in Iraq and playing down the good, journalists perpetuate an image of the Muslim world as a hostile, uncivilized place.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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