A main topic of discussion at a large Islamic Society of North America convention, that wrapped up on Monday, was how "Americans should distinguish between mainstream Muslims and the radical fringe".
These are the "three reasons" they have determined that Muslim stereotypes exist:
1) Global terrorist attacks in the name of Islam
2) Disappointing reports from the Iraq war
3) The agenda of some supporters of Israel who try taint Islam to undermine the Palestinians.
(1) True (2) False (3) False
"...Zaid Shakir, an African-American imam with rock star status among young Muslims, described how on a recent road trip from Michigan to Washington he heard comments on talk radio from people who were “making stuff up about Islam.”
Among the most egregious, he said, was from a person in Kentucky who denounced the traditional short wood stick some Muslims use to clean their teeth, saying, “They are really sharpening up their teeth because they are planning to eat you, yes they are...” (source)
Could this be any more asinine?
If they really wanted to know why non-Muslims stereotype them, maybe they should have invited some non-Muslims. I'll oblige them...
Here is what I think is the Top 10 reasons Muslims are suspect here in the U.S. (please feel free to add any you feel I missed):
1) We can't tell the "moderates" from the radicals. Frankly, we're not sure we believe there are moderates...it's most likely a myth much like the teeth sharpening.
2) We believe what the book you follow commands more than we do how you seek to soften it.
3) We are really sick and tired of your over-sensitivity and your feeling of entitlement for special treatment.
4) We hate that you only condemn acts of terrorism when you follow it with 20 qualifiers and tons of blame shifting.
5) We hate that you subjugate your women (whether they know they have been reduced to property or not).
6) We hate that you won't seriously address the fact that yours is the only religion that has been killing people in the name of your god for the past 20+ years.
7) We hate that you want free speech, but want no one else to have it.
8) We hate that if you stub your toe, somehow it is Israel's fault.
9) Quite frankly, your beards, burkas and keffiyehs scare us.
10) We'd rather stereotype and be cautious than be blown up in The Gap.