I’ve known many Muslims, and I consider several to be good friends. None of them fit the descriptions above, and none of them would talk about anyone in those sorts of terms.
Speaking in those offensive and quite frankly, disgusting generalities (you can never believe anything a Muslim says/Muslims can only be good by virtue of their religion’s relationship to Christianity) says far more about the people making those statements than it does about the Muslims that are being disparaged.
One of my favorite social activists is a Muslim. She dedicates her life to trying to prevent people from killing each other. (Ameena Mathews) uic.edu/depts/ccsb/ameena-matthews.html
There are a lot of household names that are also Muslims: Shaquille O’Neal, Fareed Zakaria (doesn’t consider himself religious these days), Dave Chappelle, Lupe Fiasco (about as anti-violence as it gets!), Casey Kasem, Janet Jackson, Ellen Burstyn, and Cat Stevens, just to name a few. These are not strange, foreign, obscure, anti-American whackjobs. These are normal people, many of whom I’m sure some on this site have admired. And many have contributed to society in wonderful ways. Painting all of these people, as well as the rest of the 1.6 BILLION Muslims (23% of the world’s population) as bad people who are not to be trusted strikes me as ignorant and hateful.
As for being violent, below is a link where you can find tons of information on conferences, decrees, statements, etc by North American religious authorities denouncing violence and terrorism against anyone.
Just something to think about, but to a lot of outsiders, the Catholic faith is forever tarnished because of the acts of a few priests. Statistically, violence within Islam comes from a small minority of the faith-and this percentage is even smaller when we’re talking about western Muslims. (You’ll also note that rates of terrorism and violence in the name of religion from Jews and Christians drops when you limit it to the west as well). Perhaps approaching Islam with the same gentleness and understanding that you would want a Muslim to approach you with would go a long way in easing tensions on a small, and hopefully eventually, large scale.