U.S. Faces Difficulties in Improving Relations with Muslim World

January 25, 2002

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

On January 25, 2002, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Yvonne Haddad, professor of Islamic history at Georgetown University's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding spoke on the dilemma facing the U.S. and the Islamic world during an afternoon forum at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. "Noting that Islam is the world's second largest religion, Haddad said she has become increasingly aware that the United States' propaganda war against Islamic fundamentalism is not working... The U.S., she said, is using a language that appeals to most Americans but does not necessarily appeal to the 1.3 billion Muslims overseas... Haddad said that unconsciously -- in some of the language that the U.S. has used to fight terrorism -- it has assumed "the colonial burden... 'Instead of looking like the America that the Muslim world has related to in advocating human rights and freedom of speech and religion, we're looking increasingly like a people trying to define what Islam is,' she said... America's dilemma, Haddad said, is trying to figure out the best course for Islamic relations both at home and abroad."