“The message of the just-released Pew Research Center study on ‘Muslim Americans’ is clear … America hasn’t moderated Islam or its adherents. Islam has made America[‘s] Muslim residents more extreme, just as with its European counterparts. Wealth and education and opportunity and freedom have done nothing to moderate them….
“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.”
US pundit Debbie Schlussel (herself well known as a beacon of moderation who renounces all forms of extremism) writes at debbieschlussel.com, 23 May 2007
Read the Pew Center report here.
The poll result that has been flagged up by right-wing US pundits is that, in response to the question “Can suicide bombings of civilian targets to defend Islam be justified?”, 15% of those aged 18-29 said that such attacks were sometimes or often justified, 11% that they were rarely justified, and 69% that they were never justified (overall the figures were 8%, 5% and 78% respectively). This is the source of all those headlines claiming that 26% of young US Muslims are potential terrorists.
However, when members of the general American public were asked in a November-December 2006 poll (pdf here) whether “bombing and other types of attacks intentionally aimed at civilians” were justified, 24% replied that such attacks were sometimes or often justified, while 27% said they were rarely justified, and only 46% said they were never justified.
Which, applying the same calculation, means that 51% of all Americans are potential terrorists.