Unfortunately people in this country are very uneducated about Asian Indians. Here in Phoenix we had a man assassinated right after 9/11 because he was wearing a turban - but he was an East Indian of the Sikh sect. (I guess in this country that might sound a little too similar to Sunni or Shi'ite - so people often get them confused). While the Brits have a pretty close relationship to East Indians, in this country we never really had that.
Americans are just awful at geography - and I don't know why, but I often think our educational system just doesn't care. I swear I don't know what they teach in public schools any more, I always got A's in world history and geography, but half the kids I know today couldn't find Canada on a map.