Sadly, this development is inevitable, not because of what’s happening in the world, but because of how the corporate mainstream media work. Their focus on current events over history and sensationalism over systematic analysis not only makes these stereotypes seem justified by the facts, but it makes them the only logical reaction for the average person who lacks alternative information sources.
This is a bit random, but I see a certain parallel here with some of the "conspiracy theories" one encounters in the Muslim world. Sometimes, problematic beliefs that are dismissed as conspiracy theories are reasonably logical reactions to happenings in the world that defy logic (e.g., the foreign policy of the world’s most powerful nation seeming to be controlled by one of the world’s smallest nations, and even though the latter’s policies are often contrary to the former’s longterm interests ).
As the war in Iraq grinds into its fourth year, a growing proportion of Americans are expressing unfavorable views of Islam, and a majority now say that Muslims are disproportionately prone to violence, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The poll found that nearly half of Americans — 46 percent — have a negative view of Islam, seven percentage points higher than in the tense months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, when Muslims were often targeted for violence.