May 25, 2007
More on That Pew Survey of Muslims
More reasons to see the glass as half-empty, from a Muslim reformer.
According to an opinion piece in today's Wall Street Journal, by Tawfik Hamid (tantalizingly described as "a onetime member of Jemaah Islamiya, an Islamist terrorist group, is a medical doctor and Muslim reformer living in the West"), the assimilation of Muslims into American society is (to borrow a phrase from Jimmy Carter) an "incomplete success." Here's a portion:
"According to a recent Pew Global Attitudes survey, "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." About one out of every four American Muslims under 30 think suicide bombing in defense of Islam is justified in at least some circumstances. Twenty-eight percent believe that Muslims did not carry out the 9/11 attacks and 32% declined to answer that question.
"While the survey has been represented in the media as proof of moderation among American Muslims, the actual results should yield the opposite conclusion. If, as the Pew study estimates, there are 2.35 million Muslims in America, that means there are a substantial number of people in the U.S. who think suicide bombing is sometimes justified. Similarly, if 5% of American Muslims support al Qaeda, that's more than 100,000 people."
Still, it's good to know of the existence of passionate Muslim reformers such as this author, though sad that he feels the need to shield his location for safety reasons.