About that “growing” anti-Muslim sentiment

The MSM is bewildered.  How is it that nine years after 9/11, people are more hostile to Muslims than they were the day of 9/11, when 20 Muslims murdered thousands of Americans, and sought to decapitate the American government?  This article from the San Francisco Chronicle nicely presents the liberal confusion:

Anti-Muslim sentiment grows 9 years later

Nine years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, one thing remains certain: Some politicians and media types can stir the nation’s darker impulses to tar all Muslims with the same hatred most people feel toward the 19 fanatics who killed nearly 3,000 people in New York and Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon.

The experts are pretty sure that the primary reason for this is because Americans are paranoid scapegoaters:

The roots of America’s continuing “ambivalence” toward Muslims and Islam is rooted in larger forces shaping the culture, said John C. Green, a professor of political science at the University of Akron and expert on the relationship of religion and politics.

“Part of it is the continuing threat of terrorism – not just in this country but around the world,” Green said. “A lot of it has to do with the economy. There is a sense that life is unstable. The American public is under siege. So, foreign threats are magnified. In a lot of people’s minds, there is this sense that this religion is associated with violence.”

Did you get that? Sure, there’s terrorism, but the real problem is that we’re scared, so we have “this sense” that Islam is “associated” with violence.

The article hastens to assure is that this sense is, to quote the article, “faulty.” Apparently the fault lies with Glenn Beck, but I have to admit to have gotten bored with the usual anti-conservative, pro-Muslim pabulum, so I kind of stopped reading about the time Glenn’s name came up.

Here’s the deal: The majority of Americans are more than smart enough to understand that the majority of Muslims worldwide are people who have no desire to bomb buildings or decapitate people.  Like us, they just want to live their lives.  We wish them well.

But we, the American people, have learned something in the last nine years, something that, prior to 9/11, only hyper-aware people knew: There are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world. A small percentage of them are jihadists, who are actively engaged in war against the United States and against Western culture generally, and have been so, with varying degrees of success and intensity since the early Middle Ages.

Given the 1.3 billion starting point, this small percentage point adds up to well more than a million Muslims around the world who actively wish us ill.  Actively.

They fight American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, they blow up our cultural allies in Israel, England, Spain, Bali, and other places around the world.  They gleefully decapitate their perceived enemies wherever they find them, whether in the Philippines, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, or anywhere else in the world.

They are also engaged in a concerted effort to use the threat of violence to blackmail Western culture into abject capitulation.  Free speech within the boundaries of Western nations  = death threats or, if you’re Theo van Gogh, actual death.  Women appearing in public per the norms of Western culture, within the boundaries of Western nations = death threats, rape, acid attacks, etc.  Open debate about Islam = death threats.

What Americans have also figured out is that the remaining billion or so non-violent Muslims are utterly passive.  With remarkably few exceptions, beyond saying “we’re not violent,” they are doing nothing whatsoever to stop the cancer that lies at the heart of their religious affiliation.  Frankly, that’s not good enough.  Fine, I understand that they’re deathly afraid too, but they certainly cannot expect Americans to respect them unreservedly if they (a) keep repeating, contrary to available evidence, that Islam is not connected to violence; and (b) do nothing to stem the violence.

So the reason Americans are more anti-Islamic now than they were on 9/11 is that, in the ensuing nine years, they’ve learned more about Islam.  What they’ve learned is that Islam, in active mode, is indeed a violent and threatening religion; and that Islam in passive mode, despite being the majority of Muslims, is useless at stemming the tide of millions of murderous Islamists.  This has nothing to do with American ignorance, paranoia and economic fear, and everything to do with paying attention.