I am neither phobic, far right, nor an alarmist. I am however skeptical by nature. I require objective evidence before I accept as fact statements proffered as true. I am dubious of claims that are repeated so often that, like mindless religious sheep, people baa in agreements and buy into them. I’ll leave that kind of non-think to theists. Give me some scientifically gathered data for a claim.
I have long wondered exactly what is meant by “vast majority.” I would venture to say that hearing that terminology most of us would apply single digits, perhaps 2% to 8%, to those Muslims who support violence…the “vast majority” of peace loving Muslims thus being 92% to 98%. We’d be grossly mistaken.
The Pew Research Center, perhaps the world’s most highly respected institute for scientific polling, has issued its latest findings on Muslim attitudes on politics and opinion in seven Muslim nations. Here is a brief synopsis of their findings:
· The median percentage of those surveyed who support the most radical terrorist organization, al Qaeda, is 22%, almost one out of four.
· The median percentage for those who support Osama Bin Laden is 21%.
· The median percentage of those who support Hezbollah is 35%.
· The median percentage of those who support suicide bombing is 20%.
Here is the full report; http://pewglobal.org/2010/12/02/muslims-around-the-world-divided-on-hamas-and-hezbollah/
Given this data it appears that “vast majority” of peace loving, anti-terror, anti-extremist Muslims means approximately 65% - 79%. Or, to look at it another way, between two (2) and four (4) out of every ten (10) Muslims in these countries endorse the use of violence to promote fanatical Muslim objectives.
Oh to be sure, approximately 75% opposing violence is a majority compared to the roughly 25% endorsing it. And I’m certainly happy that it’s not the reverse percentage. But while that would be a land slide if we were speaking in terms of election results, when it comes to dismissing Muslim support for fanaticism, violence, death, and hostility against non-Muslims -- to use the term “vast majority” is not only a little optimistic, it’s an outright distortion.
If two or three out of every ten Americans endorsed the murder of innocents to promote their agenda; or endorsed Timothy McVeigh; or supported fanatical survivalist groups; or applauded abortion clinic bombing; or felt that blowing oneself up in pursuit of a political goal was sometimes justified, I dare say we’d be rather alarmed. But because we are speaking of a specific religion and culture, we are willing to discount the 25% as just a “small minority’ of that group.
The next time you hear the politically correct head in the sand apologists down play the violent nature of Islam, you may want to challenge their understanding of “vast majority” or “small minority.” Or, you may prefer to ignore scientific fact and rely on blind belief. We know how that works.