Why do a lot of American Catholics not like Muslims?

Hello everyone. I am 17 years old. I have noticed on these forums and a lot of other places that American Catholics seem not to trust Muslim people and are very wary of them. Why is this happening? They seem to distance themselves from them and not trust them at all and seem to assume that all Muslim people are terrorists, which is completely false. I personally like integrating with cultures and I feel as if I don’t belong to one culture and I am open to learning about other religions/cultures. I’ve looked into the Muslim faith and I’ve met many Muslim people and they’re all peaceful and they all denounce extremist actions. I know people have told me that the Quran says some things that indicate an extremist attitude but we need to contextualize and look at the historical background of the creation of the Quran. Also, Muslims and Catholics believe in the same God of Abraham, so why emphasize the fact that we are so different? I’ve been noticing this anti-Islam sentiment coming mainly from American Catholics, wheras European and Canadian Catholics are more open to them. Why is this?

September 11, 2001 might have something to do with it.

God bless America.

Unfortunately, you can find prejudice just about anywhere. Some people prefer to blame all Muslims for the actions of a minority, just as some will blame all priests for the actions of a minority. It seems like a simple, easy answer to a complex and frightening situation.

September 11, 2001.

You were just a kid then but for most American adults this is still a raw wound. I don’t dislike Muslims, but it is hard to be completely trusting. I have known and worked with many Muslims. Some are peaceful; others are more militant. Obviously, the latter make me more uncomfortable. Even the peaceful Muslims I know do not speak out against the terrorists. That has always concerned me. If Muslims really felt they were being unfairly lumped together with terrorists, why do the peaceful ones not publically and forcefully denounce the violence?

Perhaps the problem is that any expansion of Islam brings with it the extremists even if they are a minority of the expansion. Even one bomber can do a great deal of damage.

Please observe the forum rules for inter-religious discussion.
The question was not about 911, please answer like adults.

How is generalizing that American Catholics hate and fear Muslims any different than generalizing that Muslims support enforcing Islamic rule through violence if necessary?

Unfortunately I think this can occur when people don’t know enough about or have enough understanding about other religions or other people different than theirs or themselves. Or perhaps don’t really have enough experience with those they dislike or don’t trust.

Isn’t the real issue whether there is any statistical evidence supporting the OP’s contention that mistrust of Muslims is greater among American Catholics than other segments of the American population?

The common “story” is that Jews, Muslims, and Christians worship the same One God and this is not totally true. Jews and Muslims believe there is One God but Jesus is not His Son (not God Incarnate.) Jews believe Jesus was a good man and Muslims believe Jesus was an Islamic prophet along the line of Abraham and Moses. Jews and Christians believe God reveals Himself; for Jews, it’s through His laws; for Christians, it’s through His Son Jesus Christ. Muslims believe God is not knowable meaning we can never understand the nature of God. Jews and Christians believe in the Old Testament as do the Muslims (to some degree) but the Muslims believe the Koran is the complete testament of God dictated to their main prophet Mohammed. Jews closed their revelation (from God) at the end of the OT (about 1,500 years before Christ); Christians closed their revelation (from God) at the end of the New Testament (1st century); and Muslims published their Koran 600 years after the New Testament.

You can see, there are quite a bit of difference between the religions and how we believe in God.

What is interesting to me is the way each religion decided to incorporate into the “secular” world. Judaism started out as nation kings, meaning church and state were intertwined. They eventually separated the religion from secular rule. Christianity started out as purely religious and not connected to secular rule though some kings, emperors, and heads of nation states were and remain influenced by the Christian religion. Islam started out as a national religion that continues on today in the same form. Sharia governs many if not all aspects of Muslim life. While a case may be made for a Judaic military such as the IDF, there is no such equivalent in the Christian church. Even in the past, during the so-called Dark Ages, kingdoms would sent their armies to war in the name of the Christian church but there were no armies directly under the control of the Vatican. Not true of Islam. Mohammed created an army to spread Islam.

Today, there are preconceptions that Islam is spreading by use of force. Not always true but the news drives perception especially in the West. Some people believe the same of the Crusaders in the Middle Ages but they forget the rest of the Christian church did NOT go to war with the Saracens, Moors, or Ottomans. Again, the “crusaders” were sent by their kings in defense of the church not directly by the church.

Why do you believe American Catholics have more enmity for Muslims vice our counterparts in Europe and Canada? Is this your personal observation or are you citing some sort of research/survey? Is this an opinion formed by American media?

It’s been my opinion people fear most what they don’t understand. I believe all 3 monotheistic religions have common beliefs that we could one day build a health understanding. To do this, we have to WANT to understand then take actions to understand. This is very difficult to do when there are people of a specific religious faith who commit atrocities in their name of their religion; misguided or not.

Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit guide us all to desire better understanding so that we may work to true and lasting peace. :gopray:

Look up Robert Spencer on YouTube and listen to some of his research.

This is part of it. Honestly, a lot of it is, in truth, a huge difference in world-view. Things that are considered either “tolerable” (such as freedom of religion) or being core tenets of our faith (Jesus being the Son of God, mankind being made in God’s image, the idea of free will, etc.) are, as far as I’ve heard, considered blasphemous in Islam.

The second part of it is that both Christianity in general (Catholicism in particular) and Islam are extremely engaged in trying to create converts. Why? Because both religions consider themselves to be the One True Faith which God wishes all people to be a part of. Though there were some overzealous people who tried to forcibly convert Native Americans to the Catholic faith, Catholicism has generally taught that a person has to want to become Christian, and that anyone who hears the Good News and sees it in practice would want to become Christian. On the other hand, there have been many times in Islam where the general theory has been to make converts by any means necessary, but this theory has not been endorsed in every place and time.

Because of this, Catholicism and Islam have a very checkered past. We’ve had times (generally medieval Spain & Portugal) where Catholics and Muslims have lived and fought side-by-side with each other. Two of our most famous Marian apparitions, that of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Fatima, have names of Arabic origin (Guadalupe is Arabic for “Wolf River” - the site of the ORIGINAL Lady of Guadalupe, and Fatima was the name of Muhammed’s first daughter). On the other hand, we’ve had many battles against Muslim armies who were trying to conquer Europe. And now, our people are being crucified and beheaded by the likes of ISIS and raped by Boko Haram. This doesn’t mean that all Muslims are evil people - ISIS and Boko Haram are terrorist groups, and the most sensible ruler in the Middle East (King Abdullah of Jordan) is also Muslim. But it does mean that there have been enough problems between Christians and Muslims for us to legitimately be wary of Islamist governments.

POWEROFK has said it well, but did I miss something/ Where was 911 mentioned per moderator’s comment?

I used to be a moderator (different website) and we had the ability to delete individual posts. I’ll bet the mod deleted the offending comment.

On both sides, there is a tendency to generalize.

Because of forum moderation it will be tough for you to get a straight answer here. Any answer that explains to you why will be said to violate forum rules. This is not a place where you can discuss this subject freely. They have their reasons, it can just be limiting when it comes to questions like this.


Exactly, look at how maligned the protesters are. The wrong they did?? Oh, they don’t think the same way as another person. Talk about tolerance or intolerance. You wouldn’t find me at such a rally but you don’t find me calling them all sorts of names in case they do not think like me.

Therefore, to me, the premise of this thread is problematic.

there are a lot more mosques in catholic countries than there are catholic churches in muslim countries so i am not really sure who is more intolerant

Note: I’m not Catholic

I don’t trust the cultural aspect of the Muslim world - as has been remarked that “Islam has bloody borders.”

And generally, Confessional Lutherans like me don’t quite subscribe to the “we’re all worshiping the same God” idea that the Catholic church teaches, so we’re even more squeamish.

However, I found it beneficial to put aside my reluctance when interacting with Muslim individuals - for only then can I show them my faith in Christ Jesus and begin to welcome them into God’s presence.

I have no problems interacting with and socializing with individual Muslims.

I do disagree with Islam and what it teaches.

If that labels me as hateful, so be it.

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