The issue of American Islamophobia has been back in the headlines over the past several weeks, and this past weekend saw its "culmination" (the Arizona anti-immigration law story sort of died out, so here comes the new "hit" about the other). The extent of damage this has done to the U.S. image abroad, especially in the Muslim world, is unquantifiable, but its consequences will, most certainly, be felt over the time to come.
There has been a lot of discussion on the matter in terms of undermining U.S. public diplomacy, and even in terms of being a genuine threat to Americans abroad. There has also been a significant outcry from Muslims around the world - ranging from those in the U.S. to Afghanistan and Indonesia - perhaps, as an early warning sign of what might come in case the issue is not addressed adequately, on time. Especially if it keeps being exploited by the more extremist Islamists for their own ends.
What is most alarming - however - is the transnational nature that current Islamophobia seems to be taking. The presence and the "Keynote Speech" of the Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders in Manhattan on September 11 was a major step in that direction. Top U.S. officials can criticize the burning of the Quran, or show support for religious freedom in NYC... but unless the people themselves truly embrace what the core U.S. values supposedly stand for, America and especially its image abroad will, most probably, be under threat again.
And no, the attempted whitewash by VOA cannot even get close to truly addressing this problem of attitudes and perceptions.
I would also, very much recommend watching the latest episode of Al Jazeera's "Empire" (particularly the second half), exploring the issue and its implications in a greater detail.
Should be truly worrisome. I hope there are people listening.