Just Over 80 Percent of American Muslims Oppose Suicide Bombings. Is That Good Enough?
Pew surveyed American Muslims and the results were interesting. According to Politico's Tim Mak, "There is no rising alienation or anger among American Muslims, despite a feeling that they are being targeted by anti-terrorism government programs." And 79 percent of American Muslims rate their communities as excellent or good places to live. A much higher percentage are likely to say they're satisfied with the current direction of the country than four years ago.
The point, Pew tells us, is that American Muslims are "middle-class, mainstream people who want to be loyal to America.”
And this is where I find these surveys interesting. We're told about the following good news:
81 percent said that suicide bombings and other forms of violence against civilians were never justified in order to protect their religion. 81 percent also expressed an unfavorable view of al-Qaeda, up from 68 percent in 2007.
This is indeed "good news" if you think of a world where only 61 percent of American Muslims condemned suicide bombings. But I can't help but wish it were higher. Much, much, much higher. I'd like that number to hover somewhere real close to 100 percent. Knowing that 1 in 5 American Muslims say suicide bombings and other acts of terror are OK isn't exactly the best news I can imagine.
Or take this:
21 percent of respondents said that there is “a great deal” or “a fair deal” of support for extremism in their communities.
Again, knowing that 1 in 5 American Muslims say there is support for extremism in their communities is certainly good news if you consider alternatives, such as 2 in 5 Muslims reporting support. But still, I'd like that percentage hovering closer to 0 percent.
If I'd guessed at how these percentages would go, I'd have hoped for much higher percentages condemning terror and much lower percentages reporting support for terror in their communities. Let's hope these numbers continue to improve.