As the title of Ali-Karamali’s book suggests, she faults the media for a lot of this and so does Hasan. A Pew survey last year showed the media to be the biggest influence on 32% of respondents when it came to their views about Muslims.
Nearly half of those who held negative views of Muslims said the media most influenced their opinions.
Personal experience and education were less often cited but cited far more often by those with favorable perceptions of Muslims.
Both Ali-Karamali and Hasan point to the disproportionate coverage given to Islamic extremists compared to stories about American Muslims they consider “mainstream.”
They write of the harping on jihad and hijab and the misconceptions of both. Jihad, which has come to be synonymous with “holy war,” literally means “to strive” or “to struggle.”