Debbie Schlussel: Meet Your "Moderate," "American" Muslim Neighbors: New Study Shows U.S. Muslims Are Extremists

By Debbie Schlussel

For almost six years, we've heard the constant chorus: "Muslims in America are different."

On 9/11, we were told that American Muslims would never commit the attacks like those perpetrated upon 3,000 Americans by 19 foreign Arab Muslims in our midst. The 19 men were different than Muslims in America, because they "hijacked their religion," we were told.

On 7/7, we were told that European Muslims are different. We were told that American Muslims would never try to blow up subways and train stations here, unlike those in London who did it . . . twice, and those in Madrid who killed far more on their trains.

Poll of American Muslims: Islam is Hazardous to America

We were told--and continue to be told--that American Muslims would never continuously riot in the streets, burning hundreds of cars a day, as they've been doing throughout France, going on 3 years, and violently attacking and injuring more than a dozen police per day. American Muslims are different, we're told. They're far more assimilated, far more successfuly financially (as if jihad and Islamism are motivated by finances, not an extremist religion).

Younger Muslims--born and/or raised in America--are more "Westernized" we've been didactically informed. They would never do such a thing. They've watched "The Simpsons" and grown up with Christina Aguilera. Therefore, they'd never want to blow a fellow American up, we've been instructed.

Since 9/11, we've been subject to a virtual echo chamber from the conventional wisdom-ites: that Muslims in America different from their pan-jihadist brothers and sisters around the world--that somehow their American experience is far different, even though their mosques and imams and korans and hadiths preach the same hate against us.

Well, now we've come to find out that Muslims in America are not so different from their co-religionists around the world. In fact, their viewpoints are pretty much the same as that of their religious counterparts around the world, and getting more extreme with age and American upbringing.

The message of the just-released Pew Research Center study on "Muslim Americans" is clear (if you can get beyond the biased press coverage and headlines): America hasn't moderated Islam or its adherents. Islam has made America Muslim residents more extreme, just as with its European counterparts. Wealth and education and opportunity and freedom have done nothing to moderate them.

The title of the study is deceptive: "Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream." But while the study shows that most Muslims in America are, indeed, middle-class, they are anything but "Mainstream." That is, unless the mainstream is referring to the mainstream of Islam around the world and not the mainstream of American values.

Islamists, like Ingrid Matteson, president of the extremist Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), consulted with Pew in conducting this study. But, even with the cosmetics, the numbers and opinions should disturb you. Without the cosmetics, the real numbers are far worse.

The numbers are not news to me, because I've been warning you for years that this is exactly what the American Muslim street is thinking. Now there's statistical proof. Here are the notable results (and, remember, since people lie in polls, the real statistics are likely a lot worse):

American Muslims Support Homicide Bombings

* More than one in four Muslims (or 26%), aged 18-29, said "Suicide Bombing is Justified." 2% percent of them say it can often be justified, 13% say sometimes, and 11% say rarely. Add to that, the 5% don't know/refused to answer this easy, instinctive question, and it's even worse--for a total of 31%--almost a third of young American Muslims, who support homicide bombings. This younger group of Muslims is the most radical, the study found, and it's the largest group of Muslims in America. It is also the future of "America's" Islam.

* 12% of foreign-born Arab Muslims said that "Suicide Bombing Can be Justified Often/Sometimes." That's more than one in ten. 10% of them don't know/refused to answer. That's a total of 22% who apparently support homicide bombings. That's more than one in five and almost one in four. Yup, if you meet an Arab Muslim on the streets of America, it's a likely one in four chance he/she supports homicide bombings.

* 8% of all U.S. Muslims said suicide bombing is justified. Add to that the 9% that don't know/refused to answer, and you get 17%, almost 1 in 5 American Muslims. For all foreign-born U.S. Muslims, 9% support suicide bombings--plus 9% refusing to answer, and it's 18%. For all native-born U.S. Muslims, it's 8% who support the bombings, plus 5% who refused to respond--for a total of 13%. Yup, being born and raised in the U.S. isn't the moderating force it's cracked up to be . . . if you're raised in the Islamic faith.

American Muslims Support Al-Qaeda

So much for the Muslim propaganda slogans about Al-Qaeda not representing Islam and "hijacking the religion." A significant portion of America's Muslims support the group, and it's growing:

* More than one in four American Muslims, aged 18-29, support Al-Qaeda. 7% outright viewed it favorably, plus 19% don't know/refused to answer--for a total of 26%. Yup, more than one in four young Muslims in America supports Qaeda.

* One third of American Muslims age thirty or more support Al-Qaeda. 4% support the group outright, plus the 29% that refused to answer, for a total of 33%. If you can't answer an outright no to this question, you support Al-Qaeda.

* Of all American Muslims, only 58% have a very unfavorable view of Al-Qaeda. 5% of American Muslims admitted to viewing Qaeda favorably and 27% refused to answer or claimed they didn't know. Hmmm . . . 32% or about 1/3 of all American Muslims either openly liking Al-Qaeda or not wanting us to know what they really think (which means they like Qaeda, too).

Muslims Don't Consider Themselves as Americans

* Among those under 30, only one in four--25%--consider themselves Americans first. 60% consider themselves Muslim first, 10% say "both equally," and 5% don't know. Age 30 and over, only 30% say they consider themselves American first, with 41% considering themselves Muslim first. Among total Muslims, 47% think of themselves as Muslim first, not American.

* Only 43% of all American Muslims said "Muslims coming to the U.S. today should adopt American Customs." Among native-born American Muslims, that number drops to 37%.

Most American Muslims Don't Believe Al-Qaeda Perpetrated 9/11 Attacks

Apparently, American Muslims want it both ways. Many of them cheer Al-Qaeda on, yet claim they don't believe Qaeda perpetrated the 9/11 attacks:

* Only 40% of American Muslims believe Arabs carried out the 9/11 attacks. 28% don't believe it, with 32% refusing to answer/don't know. That's a total of 60% who claim it wasn't Qaeda. Among American-born Muslims, it's hardly better. 48% believe Arabs did 9/11. 31% don't believe it, and 21% refuse to answer/don't know, for a total of 52% not believing Arabs committed the attacks.

And there are other serious implications:

The study says that 65% of Muslims are still foreign-born, mostly from the Middle East. Why are we allowing--why have we allowed--so many of those who hate us into this country to spread their hate and reproduce it in large families?

The study shows that even from 2000-2007, 18% of Muslims are still immigrants--significantly up from the 1980s. Why--after 9/11--are we letting one in five Muslims in America in from countries and a religion that hate us? It isn't news to me. But it should be disturbing, nonetheless, that we have a policy of affirmative-action immigration for the religion of 19 hijackers and assorted worldwide beheaders, homicide bombers, and rioters.

But, predictably, this extremism and its implications and suggestions for our immigration policy, for our student visa policy, for other policies that should keep more Muslims out of America is ignored by the press.

Instead, they pretend--as do the makers of this study at Pew who call American Muslims "Mostly Mainstream"--that the study shows Muslims to be "just like us."

The National Public Radio headline: "Pew Study Sees Muslim Americans Assimilating."

Since when is one in four members of a religion supports homicide bombings in America a sign of "assimilation"?

Perhaps when the homicide bomber grew up learning who Paris Hilton is on FOX News and CNN and seeing the latest Spiderman movie. And, while his classmates shop at the Gap for the latest fashions, he's there to find hoodie under which to camouflage the explosive belt.

Posted by Debbie on May 23, 2007 04:34 AM to Debbie Schlussel