26 May 2007

Disturbing Polls

The recent poll of American Muslims had some disturbing numbers in it, especially the one that said that up
About 1 in 4 young adult American Muslims says suicide bombings against civilian targets "to defend Islam" can be justified rarely, sometimes or often, according to a new Pew Research Center poll -- a finding that disturbed American Muslim leaders and thinkers across the country.
that the lead paragraph from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Others are far more Rosie in their outlook. Including, oddly, James Taranto at OpinionJournal.com, who writes:
We looked over the full results ... and our conclusion is that while there is something to be said for both of these interpretations [the SF Chronicle lead and USA Today's fluff piece] , on the whole there is more truth to the optimistic one. At the very least this survey strongly refutes the claims of some right-wing extremists that Muslims simply cannot adhere to civilized Western values. For although it is true that enough of the Muslims surveyed hold invidious views to give one pause, they are still a small minority.

Unfortunaletly, as Taranto points out later, terrorism is not a matter of needing a majority or even a substantial number of people to carry out a terrorist attack; a very small minority of people can do devastating damage.

I am not sure how this optimism is different than Ms O'Donnell, who said:

Rosie O’Donnell: "Faith or fear, that's your choice. You can walk through life believing in the goodness of the world, or walk through life afraid of anyone who thinks different than you and trying to convert them to your way of thinking. And I think that this country–"

Elisabeth Hasselbeck: "Well, I'm a person of faith, so I, but I also believe–"

O’Donnell: "Well, then, get away from the fear. Don't fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers."

Now, what do we do about it? I do not think that we descriminate against Muslims, but we need to be aware that there is a strong force which agitates within Islam against assimilation into the American mainstream, and some will follow that force.

If you want to realize how at odds with American values Islam is, read the following. Can you even imagine that this could possibly be a real story?

From IowaHawk (via JihadWatch)

Midwest Lutherans Largely Reject Violence

Chicago - By an almost two-to-one margin, Midwest Lutherans voiced solid opposition to decapitation, suicide bombing, and chemical warfare in a new comprehensive survey of their social attitudes.

The Pew Research survey, conducted May 13-19, queried nearly 2,500 randomly selected Lutherans at flea markets and convenience stores across the Midwest. Interviews were conducted in High Plains Twang, Great Lakes Nasal and Flat Ohio Valley Bland.

"If there is one headline here, it's how remarkably moderate the Lutheran community is," said Pew director Andrew Kohut of the survey, which was co-sponsored by the Council on American-Yooper Relations. "It really paints a picture of a dynamic culture in or somewhere near the American mainstream."

Kohut pointed to one of the study's key findings that only 29% of all respondents agreed that "bloody, random violence against infidels" was "always" or "frequently" justified, versus 56% who said such violence was "seldom" or "never" justified. The approval of violence rose slightly among younger Lutherans and when the hypothetical violence was targeted against Presbyterians, but still fell well short of a majority.

"The only demographic cohort we saw where murderous random violence had a majority support was among 18-35 year old male followers of the Wisconsin Synod," said Kohut. "And that was barely above the margin of error. Even then, fewer than half (41% to 46%) said they would personally volunteer to carry out the violence themselves."

Further bolstering the findings, Kohut noted that fewer than 6% of respondents physically attacked field interviewers during the survey.

Although a majority 87% of respondents agreed that "The world should be brought to submission under global Lutheran conquest and eternal perfect rule," there was a great deal of disagreement on the means to accomplish it. More than 95% supported "pancake breakfasts" and "popcorn fundraisers," but support dropped to less than 80% for "cow tipping" and "T-P'ing infidel houses." Support dropped even more dramatically for more violent means of conquest, such as "suicide bombing" (28%), "decapitation" (24%), and "running over Presbyterians with my Ski-Doo" (23%).

"Taken as a whole, the results show that Midwest Lutherans emphatically support a moderate, mainstream path to world domination," said Kohut. "These folks are well-assimilated into the broad fabric of American society, and unless you are Presbyterian, there is probably very little here to cause concern."

Kohut said that optimism about the results should be tempered by the grim economic realities faced by many in the Lutheran community. Nearly 65% of female survey respondents said they lived more than 30 minutes from the nearest outlet mall, while a strong majority of males said they were "often" or "sometimes" worried about having enough money for green fees and Leinenkugel.

Equally disturbing, many respondents reported experiencing discrimination at the hands of non-Lutherans. Frequently cited examples of non-Lutheran bigotry included "Got all nose-in-the-air like" (48%), "Made personal remarks about my hot dish" (37%), "Wouldn't let me borrow their combine head" (36%), and "Wouldn't stand still so I could kill them" (22%).

"I think it's important for all of us to remain vigilant against this kind of virulent anti-Lutheran backlash, and make sure they feel a welcome part of our society," said Kohut.

Ted Jarvenpaa, spokesman for CAYR, agreed.

"Ya, we're done doin' dat assimilatin' eh?" said Jarvenpaa. "Now it's your turn."

Like I said, I do not know what we do do about Islam in America, but as disturbing as this piece would be if it were real, the real survey ought to be equally disturbing to Americans of all faiths.

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