Bigotry toward Muslims and anti-Arab racism grow in US

Juan ColeJuan Cole writes: “The constant drumbeat of hatred toward Muslims and Arabs on the American Right, on television and radio and in the press, has gradually had its effect. This according to a Washington Post poll. Even in the year after September 11, a majority of Americans respected Islam and Muslims, but powerful forces in US society are determined to change that, and are gradually succeeding. As they win, Bin Laden also wins, since his whole enterprise was to ‘sharpen the contradictions’ and provoke a clash of civilizations. Some 25% of Americans now say they personally are prejudiced against Muslims. And 33% think that Islam as a religion helps incite violence against non-Muslims, up from 14% after September 11. The Bush administration policy is to continually insinuate that the Muslim world is the new Soviet Union and full of sinister forces that require the US to go to war against them.”

Informed Comment, 9 March 2006

See also “Negative perception of Islam increasing”, Washington Post, 9 March 2006