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Running on the sides of several Metro buses in Seattle, the advertisements say: “Q: Islam. A: You deserve to know,” with a phone number and Web site. “We feel often Muslims don’t have a voice,” said Aijazi, one of about six people who helped coordinate the local effort to get the ads onto the outside of six Metro buses and the inside of about 25. About 10 local Muslims contributed to the nearly $5,000 campaign. “This is just a way to present the community with a source of information about Islam that comes from Muslims themselves,” he said. A 2007 poll from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showed that 58 percent of Americans surveyed said they knew little or nothing about Islam — a figure that’s changed little since 2001. And Americans’ attitude toward Muslims and Islam appears to have gotten slightly more negative in recent years. The same Pew poll showed that 43 percent of those surveyed had a favorable opinion of Muslims, down from 48 percent in 2004. Muslims in the West should not cower under the banner of fear; rather they should take every opportunity to expose the fallacies of Western liberalism and present Islam as the only alternative.

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