My mind is currently boggling somewhat at something written by New Statesman's Mehdi Hasan, about the latest polling of British attitudes towards Islam where he asks,
If the majority of Britons (60 per cent) admit to pollsters that they "don't know very much about Islam", why then do they choose to "associate" Islam with terrorism and extremism and take such a firm view on Islam's treatment of women?Is he serious? Is it not obvious? They may not know a lot about it, but what they do know is what they've witnessed on TV or the streets of London etc which has so often involved people blowing themselves up, or women dressed it manners which they might think slightly repressive, and they've made prejudgment based on those observations and actions.
It doesn't mean they're right of course, but to wonder how they can say such things suggests one is either a gibbering idiot or they've been living in a very dark hole as a hermit since September 10th 2001.*
I guess as well, when people read or hear audio online like that below, they might, rightly or wrongly, come to sweeping conclusions and generalisations too (video via Harry's place).
Yes. That is (allegedly) the aforementioned Mehdi Hasan who cannot understand why some Britons might have prejudicial and negative views towards Islam.
As the title of this post asks, is Mehdi Hasan for real? I find it difficult to accept that he can be so naive as to not understand how people cannot know about Islam and equally hold a negative view of it. As I said, doesn't mean they're right, but it's not difficult to understand why they might think like that.
As long as the dominant and most memory engraving moments of Muslims are connected to massively negative events, it will be difficult to shift such sweeping assumptions and conclusions amongst poll respondents.