[lit-ideas] Counting moderates and enemies

  • From: "Lawrence Helm"<lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Lit-Ideas" <Lit-Ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 23:29:18 +0000

Omar and I have had an ongoing debate about the number of "moderate" Muslims 
there are in Islam.  He found a few, but no one is counting them as far as I 
know, and my impression remains that the number is small and almost entirely 
silent.  But how about our enemies?  The number bandied about for years is that 
30% of all of Islam is "fundamentalist," meaning Islamist.  Consider the 
following polling statistics on our enemy.  Would the numbers be any better in 
Iraq?  Maybe not.  The following is from pages 56-57 of Robert Spencer's book, 
Religion of Peace?
"Islamic attitudes are certainly not Western ones. In January 2007, Columnist 
Michael Freud [a typo for Michael Freund of the Jerusalem Post] summed up some 
disquieting survey results:
"In a poll conducted five months ago, and broadcast on Britain’s Channel 4 TV, 
nearly 25 percent of British Muslims said the July 7, 2005, terror bombings in 
London, which killed fifty-two innocent commuters, were justified. Another 30 
percent said they would prefer to live under strict Islamic sharia law rather 
than England’s democratic system.
"Now, one in four justifying terror may not be a majority, but it certainly 
isn’t a ‘small fringe’ either.
"In other countries, the figures are no less unsettling. A survey published in 
December found that 44 percent of Nigerian Muslims believe suicide bombing 
attacks are ‘often’ or ‘sometimes’ acceptable. Only 28 percent said they were 
never justified.
"According to the annual Pew Global Altitudes Survey, released in July 2006, 
‘roughly one in seven Muslims in France, Spain, and Great Britain feel that 
suicide bombings against civilian targets can at least sometimes be justified 
to defend Islam.’ The report also found that less than half of Jordan’s Muslims 
believe terror attacks are never justified. In Egypt, only 45 percent of 
Muslims say terror is never justified.
"Still think only a ‘tiny minority’ are in favor of violence? In Israel, the 
percentages are even more alarming. After Cpl Gilad Shalit was abducted by 
Hamas terrorists last summer, a poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and 
Communication Center revealed that 77.2 percent of Palestinians supported the 
kidnaping, while 66.8 percent said they would back additional such attacks.
"More than six out of ten Palestinians also said they were in favor of firing 
Kassam rockets at Israeli towns and cities.
"Indeed, in various countries around the world, support for Muslim 
fundamentalist terror groups appears to be widespread.
"On the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a survey conducted by 
al-Jazeera asked respondents, ‘Do you support Osama bin Laden?’ A whopping 49.9 
percent answered yes.
"And the July 2006 global Pew survey found that among Muslims a quarter of 
Jordanians, a third of Indonesians, 38 percent of Pakistanis, and 60 percent of 
Nigerians all expressed confidence in the mass murderer who founded al Qaeda.
"In Lebanon six months ago, the Beirut Center for Research and Information 
found that over 80 percent of the Lebanese population said they supported 
COMMENT: In the past we had little more than scholarly estimates suggesting 
that about 30% of all Muslims were Fundamentalist. Now we are seeing pollsters 
out amongst them and we are getting this number refined a bit – not perhaps a 
new number for all of Islam, but better numbers for certain individual nations. 
Michael Freund published the article Spencer refers to, "The straightforward 
arithmetic of Jihad" in the January 30, 2007 issue of the Jerusalem Post. It is 
much easier for some of us here in the US to speak of the ragtag 
inconsequential nature of the Islamic threat when we are talking about the 
threat against American soil.  But then we aren’t living next door to an 
Islamic nation, 77.2 percent of which supports kidnapping our citizens and 60% 
of which approves the idea of firing Kassam rockets at our towns and cities. 
But if we follow the Leftist lead and somnambulate long enough, perhaps we soon 
shall.  When Andreas conjectures about the attitude of the Iraqis he is 
convinced that they so overwhelming hate America that they will rise up en 
masse drive America out so enthusiastically that it will be termed a "rout."   
I see no evidence that is a possibility, but I do see evidence that 
Fundamentalist propaganda has caught on in Iraq, and why not?  There are 
arguments that can be and are being made from the Quran about wanting us out of 
there just because we are "infidels."  These Fundamentalists tend to see things 
more starkly than our Western Leftists who can't seem to find an enemy anywhere 
-- unless it is us.

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