Nine years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, one thing remains certain: Some politicians and media types can stir the nation's darker impulses to tar all Muslims with the same hatred most people feel toward the 19 fanatics who killed nearly 3,000 people in New York and Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon.
America's conflicting feelings toward Muslims and Islam are woven through the saturation TV coverage of the mosque planned near ground zero in New York and the repeated threats by Gainesville, Fla., pastor Terry Jones to burn copies of the Quran today on the anniversary of the attacks.
"This is a controversy ginned up by the right-wing media," said the Rev. Jim Wallis, a progressive evangelical Christian author and activist who serves on the advisory council to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Wallis, who participates in many interfaith activities, said he thinks relations with Muslims have improved since 2001.