This letter on the CAIR website elucidates everything I (and many others) have been saying since 9/11. It starts out okay and then descends into blame shifting (which, my mom always said, is "a sign of immaturity")...
Here's an excerpt:
"...As much as terrorists hijacked our religion, extreme right-wing neoconservatives hijacked our administration, and it seemed to every Muslim that America is at war with Islam the religion, not with the terrorists who have hurt us. As you, we wanted to bring terrorists to justice. It seemed the facts did not matter anymore, as negative and false perceptions became the rule, not the exception, about Islam and Muslims.
Islam in the media is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism, and engaged in a clash of civilization (an idea put in Samuel Huntington's 1998 book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order). Thus, anti-Muslim hostility is seen, which includes demonizing Islam and attacking our prophet and holy book (the Koran), and waging a smear campaign on radio talk shows, TV programs and the Internet.
The treatment: I believe the therapy will include education and outreach and kindness. Ignorance constitutes 90 to 95 percent of the problem; the remaining 5 percent of the problem will need to be dealt with by law enforcement." (source)
STOP with the qualifiers. Condemn the terrorists. Blame them for perverting your religion if that's what they've done and leave it at that. Don't follow up the condemnation with a bunch of disclaimers and excuses. THAT is your problem...not Bush and the "extreme right-wing neoconservatives" as you say in your letter. If death, beheadings and bombs isn't what Islam is about --scream and protest and burn Osama in effigy. Don't waste your time with cartoons and panties and Qur'an toilet paper...get mad at the people who have made you all suspect, not those that are rightly worried. If we don't hear you screaming out --we assume you agree. Every excuse you offer puts you closer to their camp and further from ours. It's also a bit counterproductive that you've set up a toll free hotline to solicit lawsuits from Muslims flying during the holidays. And it wouldn't hurt if you stopped treating your women like crap either...