“America has a hyper awareness of Muslims, but it lacks an accurate understanding of it.”
I would say there is not a general understanding of Muslims and Islam in America. Overall, there is a general misunderstanding. There is a reason we talk about understanding in this topic, versus awareness.
America has a hyper awareness of Muslims, but it lacks an accurate understanding of it. News coverage focuses on attention grabbing headlines, which often includes violence. If they mention that in conjunction with Islam, most people will pay more attention.
I think that the news shapes our views of Muslims significantly, but unfortunately, it doesn’t necessarily do a good job of it. We are mostly seeing Muslims negatively portrayed. Then, we see it comes back around via attempts to change that into a positive view.
Media outlets, whether they’re more liberal or more independent, shed light on Muslim people who are having a distinctly positive impact. Sometimes they look at Muslim people who are simply living their normal lives, showing an effort to portray Muslims as regular people.
While this is helpful, a side effect is that Muslims are simplified. They can’t be complex people who have good and bad qualities because any bad quality is over emphasized.
In the future, I hope that the perception of Muslims becomes more accurate. By accurate, I mean less biased and less swayed by prejudice. I hope that Muslims are seen as people instead of threats.
The vast majority of Muslims are peaceful people, just like the vast majority of Christians don’t support the Westboro Baptist Church. It is inherently unfair to judge an entire people based on the actions of a few of them. It reflects poorly on us as a nation that we see this issue, and this religion, so narrowly.