Islam: Questions and Answers

Diane Sawyer gets answers to your questions on the Muslim faith on "20/20."

ByABC News
September 28, 2010, 2:37 PM

Sept. 29, 2010— -- More than 1.5 billion people are unified by the call to prayer, which sounds five times a day to summon Muslims around to world, from remote Somali villages to mosques in Dearborn, Mich.

But in the United States, where less than 1 percent of the population practices Islam, many misconceptions persist. There's also a deeply-rooted suspicion of the religion.

Since the debate over a proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero and Pastor Terry Jones' controversial plan to hold an "International Burn a Koran Day" on the anniversary of 9/11, the conversation on Islam in America has become heated. Many are worried that anti-Muslim feelings have reached a new high.

A quarter of Americans admit to feelings of prejudice against Muslims, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, and 49 percent view the religion unfavorably.

Above all, most Americans fear what radical Muslims and terrorists could be capable of.

Diane Sawyer asks moderate Muslims why so few in their communities speak out to address the misconceptions and counter the voices of radical leaders like Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, who claim to speak for their religion. Is there a way to reclaim the faith for the moderate majority?

ABC News gets answers to the central questions people have about the Muslim faith on a special edition of "20/20."

ABC News' Bill Weir and Lama Hasan explore: what do Muslims in America actually believe? What is different about life for American Muslims? What do Muslim women, who choose to wear the veil or even cover from head to toe, say about their lives and their marriages? Is Western culture at odds with Islam?

Sawyer, Weir and Hasan talk to Muslim Americans from all walks of life to explore the history and tenets of Islam -- a faith they say is about love and understanding.