Educating Americans about Muslim Voices

NEW YORK – President Barack Obama has extended an open hand of friendship in his landmark Cairo speech to the Muslim world – seeking to engage Muslims with a commitment of mutual respect. No one can doubt his sincerity. From his first days in office, he has emphasized the importance of embarking on a new chapter in relations between the United States and the world’s Muslims.

But this aspiration will remain elusive without acknowledging the sad fact that most Americans remain woefully ignorant about the basic facts of Islam, and about the broad geographic and cultural diversity of Muslim cultures.