Ugh... Westboro. I agree there is a lot of ignorance about the religion in general. A lot of people believe that Islam is all about the extremism that is portrayed in the media. They don't realize that only a small portion of Muslims feel this way and many more are angered that they portray Islam in this manner. If you try to tell that to somebody who thinks they know better though, you better get ready for a good ass chewing.
Part of the problem is the deafening silence in condemning terrorist acts done int he name of their religion. We saw that happen lately in France, and it did make a real difference. In the UK 2 years ago when a young squady walking home was grabbed and beheaded on the streets, and the public outcry and understandable fury was met with silence from the Muslim community leaders. It is that which causes the damage - every right thinking person can understand there are bad people in all walks of life - but we grow angry and publicly rage against much minor atrocities like murderers regardless of their religion.