The best is enemy of the good.
The profoundest truths are paradoxical.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
"A Fascinating Look at the Political Views of Muslim Americans" - The Atlantic
A Fascinating Look at the Political Views of Muslim Americans
By Conor Friedersdorf
A new Gallup poll shows that they are more likely than Christians or Jews to object to the targeting and killing of civilians
An arm of the Gallup organization based in the United Arab Emirates has just published, in partnership with their U.S. based colleagues, the results of a major polling that compares the attitudes of Muslim Americans to Americans of other faiths. Its title is "Examining U.S. Muslims' Political, Social, and Spiritual Engagement 10 Years After September 11," and its most attention grabbing finding is the fact that Muslim Americans are more likely than Christians or Jews to believe that targeting and killing civilians is never justified, whether it is done by the military or an individual. Put another way, Christians and Jews are more comfortable with civilians being targeted and killed by a wide margin.
Here is the distribution of opinion when the military is doing the killing:
And the results when an individual or small group of people is targeting and killing civilians:
Am I alone in being horrified by the percentage of Americans who are sometimes okay with efforts to "target and kill" civilians?
Other fascinating findings abound.
Are Muslims in this country sympathetic to Al Qaeda? 92 percent of Muslims say no, along with 75 percent of the nonreligious, 70 percent of Jews, 63 percent of Catholics, and 56 percent of Protestants. Muslim Americans are less likely than other religious groups to have confidence in the military (70 percent have confidence, 28 percent lack it), and more likely to think that the wars in Iraq (83 percent) and Afghanistan (47 percent) were mistakes. They also most skeptical of federal law enforcement - 60 percent have confidence in the FBI, whereas among Christians and Jews at least 75 percent have faith in the bureau. And 48 percent say they've experienced racial or religious discrimination in the last year, compared to 31 percent of Mormons, 25 percent of the nonreligious, 21 percent of Jews, 20 percent of Catholics, and 18 percent of Protestants. (Along with Jews, Muslims also felt least respected, by a wide margin, when practicing their religion in public.)
With what aspects of their identity do Muslim Americans most strongly identify? It's a question best answered in visual format:
Muslims were evenly divided on the question of whether their coreligionists were more obligated than other groups to speak out against terrorism: 49 percent said yes with the same percentage saying no. A majority of all groups say Muslim Americans are loyal to the United States: 93 percent of Muslim Americans think so, along with 80 percent of Jews and 69 percent of the nonreligious, but only a disappointing 59 percent of Catholics and 56 percent of Protestants. Jews were also most likely to agree with Muslims that they face prejudice in America.
Muslims are least likely to believe that it is possible to profile a terrorist "based on gender, age, ethnicity, or other demographic traits," despite the fact that terrorists are extremely likely to be male, and very unlikely to be children or elderly.
Do a majority of Muslim Americans think that any national Muslim organization represents their interests? Nope:
There is, finally, the question of why people in Muslim countries have an unfavorable view of the United States. A majority of Muslim Americans say it's based on actions that the U.S. has taken. Everyone else thinks that people in those countries have been propagandized into disliking us:
A poll released Thursday revealed curious contradictions in the Muslim-American community, which is more enthused about its country and president than any other religious group, yet is the least politically active and faces the greatest discrimination.
The Gallup poll on American religious groups offers a counterpoint to the stereotype that Muslims in the US lead isolated lives because they do not feel comfortable fitting in or associating with mainstream American culture. Moreover, it also offers insights into the Muslim-American experience – from how dramatically the election of President Obama affected them to how little they trust the activists who work on their behalf.
In total, the poll paints a picture of a community characterized by optimism but still seeking acceptance among its fellow citizens.
IN PICTURES: Islam in America
For instance, 93 percent of Muslim Americans say they are loyal to America. They have the highest confidence in the integrity of US elections (57 percent), and they are the most hopeful about their lives over the next five years, compared with other groups.
Yet 48 percent of Muslim Americans report they experienced some kind of racial or religious discrimination, a finding that places them far ahead of Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, and atheists/agnostics.
One reason for the optimistic outlook despite discrimination could be that Muslim Americans see their financial fortunes improving. Some 64 percent of Muslim Americans in 2011 reported their standard of living got better, compared with 46 percent in 2008.
But the presidency of Mr. Obama has arguably had an even more powerful affect on Muslim Americans. Muslim Americans give him the highest approval rating – 80 percent – of any religious group. American Jews are a distant second, giving Obama a 65 percent approval rating.
The number is even more striking when compared with Muslim American support for George W. Bush in 2008, which was 7 percent.
The shift in leadership in Washington was “truly transformational” for US Muslims in how they viewed their loyalties to democratic institutions and the nation at large, says Dalia Mogahed, director and senior analyst of the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center, based in the United Arab Emirates.
After the 9/11 attacks, Muslim Americans faced intense scrutiny, both individually and from federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Obama is credited with helping smooth tensions through his outreach to the US Muslim community and his effort to end the Iraq war responsibly. The poll shows that 83 percent of Muslim Americans – more than any other religious group – say the war was a “mistake.”
Despite the positive signs, “there are still obstacles” for Muslim Americans, Ms. Mogahed says.
“They embrace American values and democratic principles but aren’t sure if the rest of American embraces them,” she says.
Some 56 percent of Protestants said American Muslims had no sympathy for Al Qaeda, the lowest number of any faith group. By comparison, 63 percent of Catholics and 70 percent of Jews thought Muslim Americans had no sympathies for Al Qaeda.
“That’s certainly a challenge for the [US Muslim] community – to have their loyalty questioned by such a large number of their fellow Americans,” Mogahed says.
Those challenges, however, have not led Muslim Americans to try to affect change at the ballot box. They are the least likely religious group to vote, with just 65 percent of Muslims in America are registered. One reason is age: The average age of a Muslim-American is 35, while the average American Protestant is 55. Younger people tend to be less politically active, Mogahed says.
Another reason is affiliation: Poll findings show that the majority of Muslim Americans say that none of the leading Muslim organizations in the US, such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations or the Islamic Society of North America, represents their interests.
With the 2012 election around the corner, Mogahed says political parties that want to reach out to Muslim-American voters might be better off establishing partnerships with local mosques than focusing on winning endorsements from national advocacy organizations. This is especially relevant considering that Muslim Americans who attend a religious service once a week are two times more likely to be politically active than those who attend less frequently, the poll found.
“The mosque should be more the mobilization engine” for get-out-the-vote drives than it has been in the past, she says.
The poll surveyed 2,482 adults, 475 of whom were Muslim. For Muslims, there was a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 7 percentage points.
IN PICTURES: Islam in America
(The following is my unedited reply to Seattle physician friend Ed M who forwarded a copy of a speech given by Holland’s right-wing politician, Geert Wilders, whose political vitriol recalls America’s David Duke.)
I apologize for not having time to properly edit/formulate the following.
My foremost argument is against the notion that some sort of "centralized" Islamic "takeover" is imminent.
Islam has no leadership, no one remotely equivalent to a "Hitler."
Lest we forget, Hitler was charismatic leader of a European powerhouse - the world'sEngineering Leader.
Currently, no Islamic leader exists who can possibly consolidate a totalitarian threat to the Western world. Even in The Islamic World, those putative leaders who have ruled for decades are seen as oppressors. The Syrian revolt against Assad is the most recent case in point.
Furthermore, the evidence is overwhelming that Islamics are socially and politically conservative people whose presence in their "adopted countries" contributes much more to political stability than political instability. (Sure, there are - and will always be - numerous individual exceptions to any general rule. Focus on exceptions and Satan himself becomes, as Paul observed, "an angel of light.")
Notice that Canada is 2.8% Muslim, whereas the US is 0.8% Muslim.
As a percentage of population, Canada has 22% more Muslim’s than Spain. (It is always comforting that Canada keeps its cool, an anchor of Rationality for a nation that has lost its mind, taken leave of its senses, labors 24/7 to trash Truth - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrhA0sEkuaM)
Note that Hispanics comprise 16% of the US population; that American blacks comprise 12.2% of the population; and that Muslims comprise 0.8%.
A salient, but forgotten, fact "in all this" is that wealthy humans have always sought "slaves" and "servants" to do their dirty work. (Interesting datum: 15% - 30% of the male slaves to arrive in the U.S. prior to 1800 were Muslim. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_the_United_States)
And so it is that Hispanics and blacks came to the United States -- just as Muslims have recently come to Europe -- to fill these roles. It is simply "the way of the world."
My judge friend, ABC, says that as soon as America's economy begins to expand with vigor, "we will beg Mexican workers to come back."
Don Melvin writes that, excluding Russia, Europe's Muslim population will double by 2020. He also says that almost 85% of Europe's total population growth in 2005 was due to immigration in general. Omer Taspinar predicts that the Muslim population of Europe will nearly double by 2015, while the non-Muslim will shrink by 3.5%, if the higher Muslim birth rate persists. (Alan here... This is a big "if." See below.)
However, a 2007 Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report calls for caution and argues that the Muslim population projections are overestimated.
Professor Philip Jenkins of Penn State University estimates that by 2100, Muslims will compose about 25% of Europe's population. (Alan here... Jenkins estimate seems the most plausible, although by 2100 the effects of miscegenation will have done much to diffuse "The Islamic Threat," while simultaneously creating "a new European." See below.) But Jenkins admits this figure does not take account of the large birthrates amongst Europe's immigrant Christians.
Other analysts are skeptical about the given forecast and the accuracy of the claimed Muslim population growth, since there has been a sharp decrease in Muslim fertility rates.A Pew Forum study, published in January 2011, forecast an increase of Muslims in European population from 6% in 2010 to 8% in 2030. PEW also found that Muslim fertility rate in Europe would drop from 2.2 in 2010 to 2.0 in 2030. On the other hand, the non-Muslim fertility rate in Europe would increase from 1.5 in 2010 to 1.6 in 2030.
The matter of declining Islamic birthrates is I think quite significant in this demographic discussion since contemporary population predictions always extrapolate from current trendlines which do not account for the steep (and inevitable) decline in birthrates that happen when people become wealthier, a process affecting Muslims throughout traditionally-Christian Europe.
In 1968 (a year after my first visit to Mexico) the Mexican birthrate per female was nearly seven (7). Now 44 later, Mexico is barely "replacing" itself.
Also unexamined is a crucial circumstance that's foundational to this whole issue: the progressive miscegenation of Humankind.
As Muslim girls "come of age" in their adopted European homes, they will, like other Europeans, become more secular and more inclined to marry "outside the faith." (When I was a boy, "marrying in the faith" was a Big Deal, just as it was a Big Deal for Protestants to vituperate against "damned Papists," and for Papists to view non-Catholics as "eternally lost souls.")
Across Europe -- including the Balkans, but excluding Russia and Turkey -- the Muslim percentage of Europe's population is purported to be 7.1% (although when I review the percentage in each individual country it barely reaches 5%). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Europe (Remarkably, Russia's Muslim minority comprises 14% of total population, with the Russian Orthodox Church predicting the possibility of Muslim majority by 2050.)
I rather imagine that more than half of European Islamics are already assimilated in Europe, and that assimilation of the recent “tsunami” of Islamic immigrants will accelerate quickly.
I’m unable to locate any data concerning the percentage of “unassimilated” European Muslims, but in that pursuit, I came upon a fascinating post showing that "46% of American Christians consider themselves Christian before they consider themselves American." Perhaps America’s fears of unassimilated Muslims is a projection of American Christians’ refusal to assimilate into the United States.
Excerpts: American Christians are more likely than their Western European counterparts to think of themselves first in terms of their religion rather than their nationality; 46 percent of Christians in the U.S. see themselves primarily as Christians and the same number consider themselves Americans first. In contrast, majorities of Christians in France (90 percent), Germany (70 percent), Britain (63 percent) and Spain (53 percent) identify primarily with their nationality rather than their religion. Among Christians in the U.S., white evangelicals are especially inclined to identify first with their faith; 70 percent in this group see themselves first as Christians rather than as Americans, while 22 percent say they are primarily American.
A reader reply to the above:Yes......... Americans are, from my experience, generally more "un-american" (complain more, try to beat the system more, and generally a lot more apathetic and probably vote less) than foreigners since they are still happy to be away from where they were… Pretty much always the way it was from Ellis island on....... and considering the right/Tea/Christian party is trying to conscript the US gov. to be a right/tea/christian country.. no matter how you look at it they are err. un-american.. understanding the fact they think america is WRONG currently.. and would be more than happy to gut it, put prayer in public schools, allow nothing but charity to "help" people and throw out all people not of their belief... (we want the US to be a Christian Nation.. as un-american as you can get)yes, un-american.......... In their defense they don't realize how un-american they are.......
Muslims' high level of identification with their new "home country" does not surprise me in the least. Muslims are very conservative people and feelings of reflexively "proud patriotism" are as conservative as it gets.
On the other hand, the "crusading instinct" runs deep in the Caucasian psyche - an instinct which (in my historical reading) results in significantly-to-hugely greater losses than gains.
It is also confoundingly problematic that young males, by hormonal mandate, are enamored of war and therefore, like Wilders, try to justify belligerence. (And, as always, the first casualty of war is Truth.)
Since "statistical cherry-picking" can "marshal the facts" to create plausible rationales for "anything," it is not surprising that Wilders (his lies, musings and misrepresentations aside) make Israel look like "civilization's last line of defense" and that, within 50 years, Europe will crumble before the looming Caliphate.
However, were it not for biblical justifications and their appeal to the ignorant, it is now clear to all scholars (and most serious analysts) that the creation of Zionist Israel was a mistake.
And yes! If I had lived in Europe during the post-War period, I see myself endorsing the creation of Israel.
But whatever Israel is now, it is not Civilization's "existential" outpost.
It is nearer the truth to argue that modern Israel is the most systematically oppressive polity in the Middle East, a political impulse that can be described as "ghettoizing neo-Nazism-without-the-ovens."
According to current trend-lines, the Muslim population of the U.S. is set to double by 2030 - from 0.8% to nearly 2%
Consider: In Israel, Palestinian citizens of the Zionist state number a little over 20% of Israel's population. It is said that Ariel Sharon shifted his political position from brutal oppression to accommodation when he was persuaded that the lofty Palestinian birthrate would lead to a majority of Palestinian citizens in Israel within as little as 30 years. The outcome of this demographic shift would be that Palestinian citizens would then vote themselves into permanent power, perhaps going so far as to adopt a new constitution. In recent time, the perceived demographic "inevitability" that changed Sharon's "life" has been most vigorously deconstructed by Israeli Zionists - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Israel
If we humans re-dedicated a tenth of the energy currently expended on justifications for the next war to the purposes of Peace, the Prince of Peace would no longer be blasphemed as a mouthpiece for Crusade.
Geert Wilders is a Member of the Dutch Parliament.
In a generation or two, the US will ask itself: "Who lost Europe ?" Here is the speech of Geert Wilders, Chairman, Party for Freedom the Netherlands , at the Four Seasons in New York , introducing an Alliance of Patriots and announcing the Facing Jihad Conference in Jerusalem .. Dear friends,
Thank you very much for inviting me.
I come to America with a mission. All is not well in the old world. There is a tremendous danger looming, and it is very difficult to be optimistic. We might be in the final stages of the Islamization of Europe. This not only is a clear and present danger to the future of Europe itself, it is a threat to America and the sheer survival of the West. The United States as the last bastion of Western civilization, facing an Islamic Europe.
First, I will describe the situation on the ground in Europe . Then, I will say a few things about Islam. To close I will tell you about a meeting in Jerusalem .
The Europe you know is changing.
You have probably seen the landmarks. But in all of these cities, sometimes a few blocks away from your tourist destination, there is another world. It is the world of the parallel society created by Muslim mass-migration.
All throughout Europe a new reality is rising: entire Muslim neighborhoods where very few indigenous people reside or are even seen. And if they are, they might regret it. This goes for the police as well. It's the world of head scarves, where women walk around in figureless tents, with baby strollers and a group of children. Their husbands, or slaveholders if you prefer, walk three steps ahead. With mosques on many street corners. The shops have signs you and I cannot read. You will be hard-pressed to find any economic activity. These are Muslim ghettos controlled by religious fanatics. These are Muslim neighborhoods, and they are mushrooming in every city across Europe . These are the building-blocks for territorial control of increasingly larger portions of Europe , street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city.
There are now thousands of mosques throughout Europe . With larger congregations than there are in churches. And in every European city there are plans to build super-mosques that will dwarf every church in the region. Clearly, the signal is: we rule.
Many European cities are already one-quarter Muslim: just take Amsterdam , Marseille and Malmo in Sweden . In many cities the majority of the under-18 population is Muslim. Paris is now surrounded by a ring of Muslim neighborhoods. Mohammed is the most popular name among boys in many cities.
In some elementary schools in Amsterdam the farm can no longer be mentioned, because that would also mean mentioning the pig, and that would be an insult to Muslims.
Many state schools in Belgium and Denmark only serve halal food to all pupils. In once-tolerant Amsterdam gays are beaten up almost exclusively by Muslims. Non-Muslim women routinely hear 'whore, whore'. Satellite dishes are not pointed to local TV stations, but to stations in the country of origin.
In France school teachers are advised to avoid authors deemed offensive to Muslims, including Voltaire and Diderot; the same is increasingly true of Darwin . The history of the Holocaust can no longer be taught because of Muslim sensitivity.
In England sharia courts are now officially part of the British legal system. Many neighborhoods in France are no-go areas for women without head scarves. Last week a man almost died after being beaten up by Muslims in Brussels , because he was drinking during the Ramadan.
Jews are fleeing France in record numbers, on the run for the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War II. French is now commonly spoken on the streets of Tel Aviv and Netanya , Israel . I could go on forever with stories like this. Stories about Islamization.
A total of fifty-four million Muslims now live. San Diego University recently calculated that a staggering 25 percent of the population in Europe will be Muslim just 12 years from now. Bernhard Lewis has predicted a Muslim majority by the end of this century.
Now these are just numbers. And the numbers would not be threatening if the Muslim-immigrants had a strong desire to assimilate. But there are few signs of that. The Pew Research Center reported that half of French Muslims see their loyalty to Islam as greater than their loyalty to France . One-third of French Muslims do not object to suicide attacks. The British Centre for Social Cohesion reported that one-third of British Muslim students are in favor of a worldwide caliphate. Muslims demand what they call 'respect'. And this is how we give them respect. We have Muslim official state holidays.
The Christian-Democratic attorney general is willing to accept sharia in the Netherlands if there is a Muslim majority. We have cabinet members with passports from Morocco and Turkey .
Muslim demands are supported by unlawful behavior, ranging from petty crimes and random violence, for example against ambulance workers and bus drivers, to small-scale riots. Paris has seen its uprising in the low-income suburbs, the banlieus. I call the perpetrators 'settlers'. Because that is what they are. They do not come to integrate into our societies; they come to integrate our society into their Dar-al-Islam. Therefore, they are settlers.
Much of this street violence I mentioned is directed exclusively against non-Muslims, forcing many native people to leave their neighborhoods, their cities, their countries. Moreover, Muslims are now a swing vote not to be ignored.
The second thing you need to know is the importance of Mohammed the prophet. His behavior is an example to all Muslims and cannot be criticized. Now, if Mohammed had been a man of peace, let us say like Ghandi and Mother Theresa wrapped in one, there would be no problem. But Mohammed was a warlord, a mass murderer, a pedophile, and had several marriages - at the same time. Islamic tradition tells us how he fought in battles, how he had his enemies murdered and even had prisoners of war executed. Mohammed himself slaughtered the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza If it is good for Islam, it is good. If it is bad for Islam, it is bad.
Let no one fool you about Islam being a religion. Sure, it has a god, and a here-after, and 72 virgins. But in its essence Islam is a political ideology. It is a system that lays down detailed rules for society and the life of every person. Islam wants to dictate every aspect of life. Islam means 'submission'. Islam is not compatible with freedom and democracy, because what it strives for is sharia. If you want to compare Islam to anything, compare it to communism or national-socialism, these are all totalitarian ideologies.
Now you know why Winston Churchill called Islam 'the most retrograde force in the world', and why he compared Mein Kampf to the Quran. The public has wholeheartedly accepted the Palestinian narrative, and sees Israel as the aggressor. I have lived in this country and visited it dozens of times. I support Israel . First, because it is the Jewish homeland after two thousand years of exile up to and including Auschwitz; second because it is a democracy, and third because Israel is our first line of defense.
This tiny country is situated on the fault line of jihad, frustrating Islam's territorial advance. Israel is facing the front lines of jihad, like Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines , Southern Thailand, Darfur in Sudan , Lebanon , and Aceh in Indonesia . Israel is simply in the way. The same way West-Berlin was during the Cold War.
The war against Israel is not a war against Israel . It is a war against the West. It is jihad. Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us. If there would have been no Israel , Islamic imperialism would have found other venues to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Thanks to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lay awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and dream, unaware of the dangers looming.
Many in Europe argue in favor of abandoning Israel in order to address the grievances of our Muslim minorities. But if Israel were, God forbid, to go down, it would not bring any solace to the West It would not mean our Muslim minorities would all of a sudden change their behavior, and accept our values. On the contrary, the end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam. They would, and rightly so, see the demise of Israel as proof that the West is weak, and doomed. The end of Israel would not mean the end of our problems with Islam, but only the beginning. It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination. If they can get Israel , they can get everything. So-called journalists volunteer to label any and all critics of Islamization as a 'right-wing extremists' or 'racists'. In my country, the Netherlands , 60 percent of the population now sees the mass immigration of Muslims as the number one policy mistake since World War II. And another 60 percent sees Islam as the biggest threat. Yet there is a greater danger than terrorist attacks, the scenario of America as the last man standing. The lights may go out in Europe faster than you can imagine. An Islamic Europe means a Europe without freedom and democracy, an economic wasteland, an intellectual nightmare, and a loss of military might for America - as its allies will turn into enemies, enemies with atomic bombs. With an Islamic Europe, it would be up to America alone to preserve the heritage of Rome , Athens and Jerusalem ....
Dear friends, liberty is the most precious of gifts. My generation never had to fight for this freedom, it was offered to us on a silver platter, by people who fought for it with their lives. All throughout Europe , American cemeteries remind us of the young boys who never made it home, and whose memory we cherish. My generation does not own this freedom; we are merely its custodians. We can only hand over this hard won liberty to Europe 's children in the same state in which it was offered to us. We cannot strike a deal with mullahs and imams. Future generations would never forgive us. We cannot squander our liberties. We simply do not have the right to do so.
We have to take the necessary action now to stop this Islamic stupidity from destroying the free world that we know.
Please take the time to read and understand what is written here, Please send it to every free person that you know, it is so very important.