Enseñar a los americanos a reconocer las voces musulmanas

NUEVA YORK – El Presidente Barack Obama ha tendido una mano abierta de amistad en su discurso al mundo musulmán, pronunciado en El Cairo y que será un hito, con miras a atraerse a los musulmanes con un compromiso de respeto mutuo. Nadie puede poner en duda su sinceridad. Desde sus primeros días en el cargo, ha insistido en la importancia de iniciar un nuevo capitulo en las relaciones entre los Estados Unidos y los musulmanes del mundo.

Pero esa aspiración seguirá siendo esquiva, si no se reconoce el triste dato de que la mayoría de los americanos siguen siendo lamentablemente ignorantes de los datos básicos sobre el islam y sobre la gran diversidad geográfica y cultural de las culturas musulmanas.

Una mayoría de las encuestas de opinión correspondientes a los cuatro últimos años muestran que las opiniones de los americanos sobre el islam siguen siendo víctimas de los ataques del 11 de septiembre de 2001. Las encuestas de Washington Post/ABC News correspondientes a 2006, por ejemplo, mostraron que casi la mitad de los americanos abrigan una opinión “desfavorable” del islam, mientras que una cuarta parte reconoce abrigar sentimientos cargados de prejuicio contra los musulmanes.

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