Opinion: Media's One-Sided Portrayal Contributes to Misunderstanding of Muslims

July 9, 2005

Source: The Albuquerque Tribune


On July 9, 2005 The Albuquerque Tribune ran an opinion piece by the paper's editor, Paul Casaus, in which he discusses the Muslim community's response to the London bombings, and responds to a statement of condemnation issued by the local mosque. Casaus writes, "[L]et's face facts. That the Islamic Center of New Mexico would feel compelled to issue such a statement in the first place says a lot about the unspoken prejudices its members face in a post-9/11 world... in a world awash with misconceptions about Islam, [Abdul Rauf Campos-Marquetti, the man who issued the mosque's news release] says, it's absolutely vital that everyone, particularly the media, understand that Islamic extremists are just that: a small, fractious element that in no way represents an entire religion... Muslims face a tough road in this country. The Islamic faith is little understood in the United States, and the mass-media linkage between al-Qaida and Islam is pervasive... It's the day-to-day wiggle room of reality that Campos-Marquetti, vice president of the Islamic Center, depends upon as he thinks about the future. Members of the center spend much of their time in small outreach efforts in Albuquerque - talking to kids, speaking at schools and, yes, e-mailing news releases in hopes that reality will win out over the myth... The question is, are we listening? Or do we only hear the noise?"