by Patrick Appel

Marc Lynch reads up on the Arab press's coverage of the Park 51 controversy:

Where the anti-mosque movement and escalating anti-Islam rhetoric is really resonating is with the Arab mainstream --- that vast middle ground which had hoped that the election of Barack Obama would mark a real change from the Bush administration but have grown increasingly disappointed.   The mosque issue has been covered heavily on Arab satellite TV stations such as al-Jazeera, and the images of angry Americans chanting slogans and waving signs against Islam have resonated much like the images of angry Arabs burning American flags and denouncing U.S. policy did with American viewers after 9/11.   The recent public opinion surveys showing widespread hostility towards Islam among Americans have also gotten a lot of attention. 

It all contributes to the ongoing deterioriation of their residual hope in Obama's ability to bring about meaningful change. It's confirming the worst fears of too many mainstream Arabs and Muslims, and thus providing fodder for the extremists who hope to exploit that atmosphere.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.