Media are not driven by all the news that is fit to print but all the news that will spike sales and profits. Their bottom-line approach privileges explosive headline events and disproportionately emphasizes conflict and violence. Neo-conservative voices, which were so predominant during the George W. Bush administration, saw the war against global terrorism as an opportunity to implement their belief that America’s destiny as “the” global leader was to create a New American Century, one whose agenda often dovetailed with the hard-line Christian Zionists, a policy to transform the Middle East. The net result has been to see Islam and the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, as well as the six to eight million Muslims in America, through the lens of religious extremism and terrorism, allowing the venomous rhetoric and threats of a minority of terrorists to brushstroke and obscure our understanding of the mainstream Muslim majority.

From “The Future of Islam” by John Esposito