Does Islam Promote Violence?

"The Muslim mainstream is saying this is not only irrational but unislamic," an expert says of the 9/11 attacks.

John Esposito, raised a Roman Catholic in Brooklyn, New York, is the director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University. He spoke with Beliefnet after the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.

How did Islam get this reputation for violence?

Americans have very little background about Muslims. Historically, Muslims were not visible in this country. Academically, too, Islam was not put with other [monotheistic] faiths, but with Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism. It was foreign. So you end up with generalizations. It's like if all you see is headlines about the Mafia, all Italians all become Mafia.

Sept. 11 Response
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