I was waiting to see some kind of coverage in the local newspaper, the News and Observer, (N&O) about last weekend's Open House at the Islamic Center of Raleigh. But I guess the only thing related to Islam that the N&O can be bothered to write about is the arrests of some local Muslims accused of "plotting violent jihad." (As if "violent jihad" is a technical term, right?)
Many of the "articles" (which so far seem to amount more to fear-mongering propaganda than actual reporting) I've read about the recent arrests talk about the "bad PR." It's one of the more irritating claims about the incident, as if all Muslims are concerned about is their public image. What's neglected almost universally is that Raleigh Muslims preempted this "bad PR," with their Open House, which took place a few days before the arrest (and which took months of planning.)
I'm confident that any one of the over 600 attendees at the Open House would consider that visit to be far more weighty in their understanding of Islam than news reports about a few people who they've never met. In fact, the more the media tries to malign Islam (by trying to associate it with criminal behavior), the more people will investigate Islam. And some people will even become Muslim based on their investigation--after learning about Islam on their own, despite the repeated attempts of hate-mongering ideologues to paint Islam as a religion of terror.
But what is the excuse of the N&O for ignoring stories about Muslims which try to clear the fog, like the Open House? If you want to complain, please send a tasteful letter to the editor.
And let it be said of the Muslims in Raleigh that they didn't wait for "bad PR" to try to teach their neighbors Islam.