America and Islam

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After September 11, President Bush told Americans not to blame all Muslims for the atrocity. But since the war in Iraq, bias against Muslims has increased. Since the US launched a "preventive attack" on Iraq four years ago, the news has been full of the ancient rivalry between Shiites and Sunnis, which produces deadly violence and sets nations against one another. Last year, the Gallup Poll found that 34% of Americans think US Muslims support al Qaeda. Just 49%--less than half--believe that American Muslims are loyal to the United States. Here, in a mostly-Christian country, how much do Americans really know about their six million Muslim neighbors, what they practice and what they believe? Will Barak Obama's childhood exposure to Islam make it an issue in the presidential campaign?




Warren Olney