May 23, 2007
Twenty Five Percent Of Young American Muslims Support Suicide AttacksTopics: Understanding Islam
[Image: Although the poll shows that American Muslims are better assimilated in the U.S. than in Londonistan, I frequently see Muslim women shopping in our West Florida community dressed in burkas, and even driving cars. This is not assimilation, and is scornfully condemned by my Muslim friends. Unfortunately, the number of women I see wearing this clown suit appears to be increasing].
The first nationwide survey of Muslim Americans reveals that more than 25% of Muslims under 30 say suicide bombings to defend Islam are justified, and only 40 percent of the overall American Muslim population would even admit that Arabs were behind 9/11. Although the number of Muslims that support suicide bombings is the news that's getting most of the attention, there are other responses that should be alarming as well, regardless of how Keith Ellison (who, like CAIR, I do not believe reflects the views of most American Muslims) wants to sugar coat it. While the poll shows that American Muslims are more likely than their European counterparts to reject Islamic extremism and express satisfaction with their lives, that's really not saying much since fundamentalist European Muslims are already created huge problems for non-Muslims throughout Europe.
Sixty nine percent disapprove of President Bush, 75 percent disapprove of the Iraq war and 48 percent disapprove of the war in Afghanistan. Only 26 percent say the war on terrorism is a "sincere effort," compared with 67 percent of the general public. Almost as alarming, 60% percent of the Muslims under 30 said they were "Muslim" first, and only 25% said they were Americans first. Among the total population, 47 percent consider themselves Muslims first and 28 percent are Americans first. 54 percent are dissatisfied with the general state of the nation, 53 percent say life has gotten more difficult for Muslim Americans since September 11, 2001. More than half believe that their population has been singled out by the U.S. government for surveillance. And as Captain Ed points out, even though a majority of American Muslims tend to have very socially conservative views, they also trend heavily to the Democratic Party -- most likely as a result of the Iraq war, which they reject in higher numbers than the rest of Americans. They also oppose the war in Afghanistan, which indicates that they will not approve of any military action against Muslims regardless of the provocation.
In other coverage, Hot Air has images showing the breakdown of the various responses, the majority of which are promising and reflect the views expressed to me by many Muslims I count among my close friends. However, there's always another way to look at a poll, and Hugh Fitzgerald says the figures of the new Pew Research Center poll of Muslims in America, and the poll itself, far understate the problem.
So some respondents will lie, while others are so contemptuous of the Infidels that they see no need to lie. That is the difference between the most forthright Muslims, indifferent to the Infidels, and the vast army of apologists who try to divert or distract attention, or play at Taqiyya-and-Tu-Quoque. And even straighter-talking than these forthright Muslims are the apostates from Islam, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ali Sina and Ibn Warraq and Wafa Sultan, who know perfectly well what Islam inculcates, and what, outside of the mosque and the madrasa, suffuses Islamic societies as part of the atmospherics of Islam.I call Hugh Fitzgerald's points the most pessimistic view and the results of Pews poll as more like the best case. As with most things, perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between Hugh Fitzgerald's precautionary view of the poll results and the results of the poll itself. However, as Robert Spencer points out, the media's handling of the poll, as exemplified by the Washington Post, is to essentially ignore or downplay disturbing findings, and the whole thing is given a bland, reassuring, and ultimately misleading headline:
Those who answered "Don't Know" or refused to answer should be taken not at face value, but as knowing perfectly well and not answering the question because they did not wish to be toted up in this exercise in a way that would harm the "image of Islam." And one would be a fool not to think that some, and perhaps a great many (I think very many) of those who claimed they did not support terrorism, were being completely forthright. Many no doubt used some weaselly bit of "mental reservation" to be able to claim they were against it if it was directed at "innocents" -- remember, the Muslim definition of "innocents" does not coincide with the definition that Infidels subscribe to -- non-combatants, especially women and children and the aged -- as the views, on record, of Al-Qaradawa and the Sheik Al-Azhar, among others, make clear.
Furthermore, the opinion poll was constructed so as to leave out certain key questions. Why was there no question on the desirability of working to impose the Shari'a? That would demonstrate the contradiction between Muslim desires and the continued existence of the legal and political institutions of this country, institutions built entirely by non-Muslims and reflecting entirely a view of the individual, and indeed of the world, that is flatly contradicted by the letter, and spirit, of Islam. Think of the Muslim view of freedom of conscience, of freedom of speech, of the very idea of respecting and upholding the rights of individuals. These are seen as opposed, in Islam, to the collective or umma, which is the only thing that matters. And it matters only so that it might support the spread of Islam and Islam's necessary dominance, everywhere.
Alan Cooperman's Washington Post report on the the Pew Research Center poll of American Muslims is typical of mainstream media coverage of the poll: disturbing findings are ignored or downplayed, and the whole thing is given a bland, reassuring, and ultimately misleading headline.Again, as with Fitzgerald's points, I look at Spencer's points as significant and valid while the WaPo's views as the most sugar-coated, naive, and dhimmitudious; truth is not relative, but it does likely lie somewhere in between Fitzgerald and Spencer, and the WaPo. In which case both moderate American Muslims and non-Muslims alike need to be concerned over what's going on in many American mosques and in radical Muslim compounds like Islamberg.
The Post's story seems to be based on the proposition that all is well here because things are worse in Europe, which is like saying that your cold is cured because the guy across the street has pneumonia.
Unlike Muslim minorities in many European countries, U.S. Muslims are highly assimilated, close to parity with other Americans in income and overwhelmingly opposed to Islamic extremism, according to the first major, nationwide random survey of Muslims.
The survey by the Pew Research Center found that 78 percent of U.S. Muslims said the use of suicide bombings against civilian targets to defend Islam is never justified. But 5 percent said it is justified "rarely," 7 percent said "sometimes," and 1 percent said "often"; the remaining 9 percent said they did not know or declined to answer.
I don't see how this can possibly be spun as good news. Imagine if 13% of Christians had been polled as supporting suicide bombing. Do you think the WaPo headline would have been that Christians are "opposed to extremism"? It seems as if once again we are witnessing the soft bigotry of low expectations. No Muslims, or anyone else, in the U.S. or anywhere else should be supporting suicide bombing. If a significant number in the U.S. does support them, as seems to be the case, that is a matter of grave concern for government and law enforcement officials, and raises numerous important questions about immigration, the monitoring of American mosques, and more. But if anyone is concerned about it, they aren't getting a hearing in the Washington Post.
Related: Islamism, not Islam is the Problem
Posted by Abdul at May 23, 2007 7:40 AM
Articles Related to Understanding Islam: