Americans: “Islamophobic” or Informed?
A new “Newsweek” poll on American attitudes toward Muslims and Islam has found that 46% of Americans believe that the United States is taking in too many Muslim immigrants. 32% think that Muslims in America are less loyal to the United States than they are to Islam. 28% believe that the Qur’an condones violence, and 41% hold that Islamic culture “glorifies suicide.” 54% are either “somewhat worried” or “very worried” about Islamic jihadists in this country, and 52% support FBI surveillance of mosques, with the same percentage rejecting the claim of American Muslim advocacy groups that Muslims are being singled out by investigators and police.
Watch now for the follow-up stories about “Islamophobia,” in which the onus for all the attitudes displayed in this poll is placed firmly and solely upon non-Muslim Americans, as if Muslims were an entirely innocent, passive group that was doing nothing whatsoever to make anyone suspicious or angry at all. “Newsweek” itself led this off by asserting in another article published along with the poll that Muslims in America are “vulnerable as never before.” That story began with an account of a Muslim in Cleveland asking George W. Bush: “What are we doing with public diplomacy to change the hearts and minds of a billion and a half Muslims around the world?” The unspoken assumption behind this question is that Muslim fury at the West stems entirely from the actions of the United States and other Western countries, and not from anything within the Islamic world itself.
Daud Abdullah, the Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), expressed another aspect of this view after the recent jihad plots were discovered in London and Glasgow, when he suggested that the religion of the attackers was incidental to their plots: “Let’s not create a hypothetical problem…it can be the work of Muslims, Christians, Jews or Buddhists.”
But the connection between Islam and terrorism doesn’t come from non-Muslims, as the recent Pew Research Center poll of Muslims in America revealed: 26% of Muslims between the ages of 18 and 29 affirmed that there could be justification in some (unspecified) circumstances for suicide bombing, and five percent of all the Muslims surveyed said that they had a favorable view of Al-Qaeda. With 2.35 million Muslims in America, that’s over 300,000 supporters of suicide attacks and 117,500 supporters of Al-Qaeda.
Meanwhile, terrorists explain their actions by reference to the Islamic imperative to subjugate non-Islamic polities under the rule of Islamic Sharia law. Despite the efforts of Islamic advocacy groups to obscure the connection between Islam and violence and supremacism, the volume of Islamic terror attacks (over 9,000 around the world since 9/11) has awakened some Americans to the fact that the ideology that fuels those who are determined to destroy us is deeply rooted within Islam, and peaceful Muslims are doing little to root it out. And as for the idea that Islamic terrorism is driven by Western actions, former jihadist Hassan Butt remarked recently that he and his fellow mujahedin used to scoff at this idea: “I remember how we used to laugh in celebration whenever people on TV proclaimed that the sole cause for Islamic acts of terror like 9/11, the Madrid bombings and 7/7 was Western foreign policy.”
The new “Newsweek” poll should become the occasion for renewed debate about the attachment of Muslims in America to Islamic Sharia law, and about the posture of American Muslims advocacy groups toward the U.S. Constitution. It should be the occasion for a new public examination of Muslim immigration and the monitoring of mosques. It should provide the foundation for a new public call to Muslims in America to renounce Sharia and Islamic supremacism, and to institute comprehensive programs in American schools and mosques that teach against the jihad ideology and the necessity for Muslims to live peacefully with non-Muslims as equals on an indefinite basis. For the people who are worried about Islamic terrorism in the U.S. today are not “Islamophobes.” And they deserve a realistic appraisal of this problem by their elected officials.