At the end of the day, prejudice, bigotry and racism is taught by the adults in our lives. Children aren't born knowing to hate or misunderstand; it's fostered by parents, role models, and viewed situations.
Those who seek for us to better understand Islam would do better if they acknowledged that jihad is open to both kinds of interpretations -- both those that legitimize violence and those that abhor it.
This has been a big year for Islam and Islamic law in American media. As politicians vied for local and national office, anti-sharia messages -- and sometimes overtly anti-Islam messages -- were broadcast across the media, at times functioning to normalize anti-Islam discourse.
Deranged he may be, but his beliefs and bloody actions are very much a natural product of the mounting fear and hatred of Muslims throughout much of Europe these past few years, as well as the United States.
How many American Muslims support terrorism? Do Muslims want to impose sharia in America? Rarely, if ever, do Americans get an opportunity to hear from Muslims or credentialed experts to get these questions answered.
Lowe's has the right to advertise wherever it chooses, of course. And we as consumers have the right -- the power -- to shop where we choose, and spend money in a way that is most aligned with our values.
While 9/11 thrust the American Muslim community into the center of public attention nearly a decade ago, misinformation regarding this group persists against an alarming back-drop of rising Islamophobia.
Those who peddle hate lack a basic understanding of the history of Muslims in America, and the Constitution of the United States. In targeting the adherents of one faith they seek to undermine one of most basic tenets for the founding of this great nation: religious freedom.
As 2010 comes to a close, it's clear that this year offered few favors for the American Muslim identity or reputation. Indeed, Pew reports that Muslims in America had a higher approval rating after 9/11 than in 2010.