ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Islam Means Peace - Part 1,863

Or, The Recent Poll of Muslim Americans and Implications for Homeland Security

The results of this poll have been portrayed widely as positive news - positive in the sense that "a majority of American Muslims" don't believe suicide bombings (aka terrorism) is justified. Alarmingly, as Michelle Malkin points out at NRO, it's the size of the minorities which should cause us concern:

Tiny Minority, Big Problem
Even a few suicide-bomber sympathizers is still far too many.

By Michelle Malkin

If we believe the spin of Associated Press headline writers, there’s little cause for concern about a new Pew poll of American Muslims. “Most U.S. Muslims reject suicide bombings,” the AP headline writer blithely reports.

But the details of the poll show that the always-downplayed tiny minority of jihadi sympathizers in America is cause for big concern.

The poll found that while 80 percent of U.S. Muslims believe suicide bombings of civilians to defend Islam cannot be justified, fully 13 percent said they can be justified, at least rarely. One in four younger American Muslims find suicide bombings in defense of Islam “acceptable at least in some circumstances.”

About 29 percent of those surveyed had either favorable views about al Qaeda or did not express an opinion. Yes, they either gave al Qaeda thumbs-up or had no opinion about the terrorist group responsible for slaughtering nearly 3,000 of their fellow Americans on 9/11 and responsible for a global bloodbath from Bali to Britain, the Middle East, and beyond.

A third of those polled believe the invasion of Afghanistan to take out al Qaeda training camps after 9/11 was wrong. [ed - Apparently, Michael Moore & Cindy Sheehan have some fans in the Muslim community!] In addition, only 40 percent of all American Muslims believe Arab men carried about the 9/11 attacks — joining Charlie Sheen, Rosie O’Donnell, and the inside-job conspiracy mongers. The poll focused particular concern on jihadi sympathy among young Muslims and black Muslims:
Muslim Americans reject Islamic extremism by larger margins than do Muslim minorities in Western European countries. However, there is somewhat more acceptance of Islamic extremism in some segments of the U.S. Muslim public than others. Fewer native-born African American Muslims than others completely condemn al Qaeda. In addition, younger Muslims in the U.S. are much more likely than older Muslim Americans to say that suicide bombing in the defense of Islam can be at least sometimes justified.

“It is a hair-raising number,” Radwan Masmoudi, president of the Washington-based Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, told the AP. Indeed. The numbers should be a wake-up call, not another excuse for the mainstream media to downplay the threat of homegrown jihad.

The poll comes on the heels of the Fort Dix jihadi terror bust involving young, American-raised Muslims and the conviction this week of Muslim doctor Rafiq Abdus Sabir — born in Harlem, based in Florida — who had pledged loyalty to al Qaeda and vowed to treat injured al Qaeda fighters so they could return to Iraq to kill Americans. A Brooklyn bookstore owner and a Washington, D.C., cab driver also pleaded guilty and were sentenced to prison in the case. The tiny minority of jihadi sympathizers aren’t just sitting around stewing harmlessly about their beliefs. They are recruiting, proselytizing, plotting, and growing.

I’m reminded of a similar poll conducted in Indonesia last fall. One in ten Indonesian Muslims was found to support bombings in defense of Islam. They took the news a little more seriously in “moderate” Indonesia. One in 10 in Indonesia, you see, equals 19 million Muslims for violent jihad. That’s just Indonesia.

Recent polling in Britain found that 13 percent of British Muslims believe the London subway bombers are righteous “martyrs,” and 7 percent approve of suicide bombing attacks on civilians in Britain in some circumstances.

Now, add that to the 16 percent of French Muslims, 16 percent of Spanish Muslims, 7 percent of German Muslims, 28 percent of Egyptian Muslims, 14 percent of Pakistani Muslims, and 46 percent of Nigerian Muslims who told Pew last summer that “violence against civilian targets in order to defend Islam” can be justified “often/sometimes.”

A few fringe jihadists here, a few fringe jihadists there, and soon you’re talking about bloody real numbers.

So, similar to the Muslims of Europe, the elder generations are less radical and more assimilated than their progeny. This, despite the fact that America is much more tolerant towards those of other beliefs, ethnicities, etc. than any country in Europe. And it should be noted that ethnic & religious minorities are much more successful in the US than in any other country in Europe.

Given these results, I would be interested in a parallel poll of Christians, Jews, and those of other religious (or non-religious) persuasions. I would bet anyone that the results would demonstrate that adherents of Islam - particularly those in the younger demos - are atypical when compared to those of other faith or of atheists.

It'd be instructive to test this hypothesis, though. For years, we've been told that profiling by the Dept of Homeland Security (and the Transportation Security Administration in particular) of Muslim-Americans cannot be tolerated - and all passengers, from my 2 year old daughter to a 95 year old great-grandmother, need to be searched.

Well, given the proclivity of young Muslims to support or tolerate terrorism, why are we continuing with our suicidal policies?

I mentioned several weeks ago that Islam, as evidenced by this and previous polls:
  1. is either an extremely violent, intolerant religion that justifies death & destruction of unbelievers (men, women, & children);
  2. or it has a serious marketing/branding problem and we just aren't getting the complete picture.
I fear that with this recent poll of American Muslims - the "most moderate" Muslim community in the world, that it may be the former and not the latter.

While many say that "Islam Means Peace," they are incorrect. Islam means submission. Perhaps I should take the lead of Kent Brockman on The Simpsons and welcome our new Islamic Overlords. But I think I'll hold out for a little while longer.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler