Friday, January 22, 2010

American 'Prejudice'

Arab News reports that American "prejudice" against Muslims is on the uptick--as is the associated cognitive dissonance (my bolds):
NEW YORK: Americans are more than twice as likely to express prejudice against Muslims than they are against Christians, Jews or Buddhists, a new survey found. Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they have little or no knowledge of Islam. Still, a majority dislike the faith.
The analysis is from the Gallup World Religion Survey and is part of a project on finding ways to increase understanding between Americans and Muslims. President Barack Obama and his administration want to improve America’s image in the Muslim world. Many analysts who study extremism also say that US Muslims who feel alienated from broader society resist integrating, potentially becoming more vulnerable to radical ideas.

In the poll, just over half of Americans said they felt no prejudice against Muslims. However, 43 percent acknowledged at least “a little” prejudice against Muslims, a significantly higher percentage than for the other four faiths in the survey. About 18 percent of respondents said they had some level of prejudice against Christians, while the figure was 15 percent toward Jews and 14 percent toward Buddhists.

Asked about knowledge of Islam, 63 percent of Americans say they have “very little” or “none at all.” A large majority of respondents believe most Muslims want peace...
That's the cognitive dissonance part--being hammered endlessly with the message that Islam is a "religion of peace" while at the same time noticing that fanatical Muslims keep trying to kill people for Allah (giving rise to the "prejudice"). If you have "very little" knowlege of Islam--or "none at all"--it can be very confusing.

Update: More on the poll from Omar Ha-Redeye at Law is Cool:

...The Gallop Poll found that 53% of Americans admitted to having negative views towards Islam, and 43% acknowledged some prejudice towards Muslims.
The findings should spurn greater cooperation between the Muslim and Jewish communities to work together in overcoming hatred and bigotry.
Rather a non-starter I'd say given that the bulk of Judenhass emanates from the Muslim community.

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