[lit-ideas] Re: Moderate Muslims

  • From: "Simon Ward" <sedward@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2006 19:28:09 +0100

I said:

"...considering that most if not all terrorist attacks after 9/11 have
been conducted by home grown terrorists..."

Hindsight has suggested the need for some clarification on this point. It refers of course to terrorist attacks directly on western countries. Other victims, included Israel and Iraq, may have suffered attacks from foreign operatives.

Now off to research moderation in the middle east...


----- Original Message ----- From: "Simon Ward" <sedward@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, October 02, 2006 6:54 PM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Moderate Muslims

I read this the first time it was posted, but I don't object to its return.

The existence or otherwise of moderate muslims certainly seems to be a hot topic on the right (I'm aware that Harris claims to be a liberal), and that suggests an agenda of sorts. From what I've read on the net and in Lawrence's posts, the tendency appears to be to downplay the existence of moderate muslims and boost the numbers and importance of extremists.

Now the following looks exclusively at British muslims. I understand that Lawrence and others would prefer us to limit the analysis to the middle east, but considering that most if not all terrorist attacks after 9/11 have been conducted by home grown terrorists, I think it's worthwhile.

In a recent(ish) poll conducted for the Telegraph (London) and ITV, 73 per cent of British Muslims would go to the police if they believed that someone they knew or knew of might be planning a terrorist attack.


Whilst this implies that the remainder, 27 per cent, would not go to the police, it isn't equivalent to the number who would themselves committ an attack. According to the poll, six per cent, if not prepared to carry out terrorist acts, are ready to support those who do. In which case those who would consider themselves active terrorists (clearly would not say in any case), but also must be much less.

An alternative poll conducted by NOP


and commented upon here


shows that 94% of respondents disagreed that Muslims should live separately from non-Muslims but at the same time, given the choice 36% would prefer to have fellow Muslims as neighbours.

Quoting directly from the polling report: NOP also asked if British Muslims thought that relgious leaders who supported terrorism should be removed - 68% agreed, with 22% disagreeing. Cross-referencing these results, NOP characterised 9% of the Muslims they surveyed as “hardcore Islamists” - people who thought that it was perfectly okay to speak in support of terrorism, but thought people should be prosecuted for insulting Islam. This small minority tallies with NOP’s other questions on terrorism - 9% of respondents said it was acceptable for religious or political groups to use violence, 13% of people said they understand why young British Muslims might become suicide bombers.

And a February 2006 ICM Poll


which says that 60 per cent of muslims are more alienated from British society over the previous year and that 46 per cent believe that muslims have become more radical in that period. Conversely, 80 per cent might believe that western society may not be perfect, but muslims should live within it and not seek to bring it to an end.

Another ICM poll, this one in the wake of the July bombings:


On who was to blame (in each case I've picked out 'a lot'):

Blair for invading Iraq: 58%
Muslim Imams and other leaders for failing to root out extremists: 26%
Muslim community for not doing enough to root out extremists: 18%
Non-Muslims in Britain for racist and Islamophobic behaviour: 28%
The bombers themselves: 70%
The bombers handlers: 70%

There are a stack more polls to look through - ICM are especially active - but the general consensus appears to be that:

1. There certainly are moderate muslims and they make up the vast majority in Britain.

2. The feeling against the war in Iraq is dominant.

3. Only a small minority would consider violent action in support of their beliefs.

4. A sizeable majority would inform on anybody they believed was planning a terrorist strike.

Now, because Lawrence is currently operating an apartheid system based on perceived intelligence, I understand that he won't even read this let alone comment on it directly. Perhaps therefore, other list members could include relevant quotes in their comments so that he can get the gist.

Resident thick person

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