The first nationwide survey of Muslim Americans revealed that more than a quarter of those younger than 30 say suicide bombings to defend Islam are justified, a fact that drowned out the poll's kinder, gentler findings suggesting that the community is mainstream and middle class.
"There are trouble spots," noted Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center, which conducted the survey of 1,050 adult Muslim Americans -- two-thirds of whom were foreign-born -- January to April. The results were released yesterday.
"We should be disturbed that 26 percent of these young people support an ideology in which the ends justify the means," said Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, chairman of the Arizona-based American Islamic Forum for Democracy.
"But the survey also found that only 40 percent of the overall American Muslim population would even admit that Arabs were behind 9/11. They're in denial, refusing to take moral responsibility, and the radicals will feed on this," Dr. Jasser said.
Farid Senzai of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding said he had "concern" about evidence of youthful radicalism.
The revelation that some young American Muslims condone violent bombings led coverage from CBS News, the Associated Press, Reuters, the Detroit Free Press, the Los Angeles Times and other news organizations.
"I'm not surprised that the press picked up on the bad news, because that's what sells. I'd like to see another ethnic group get asked the same question," said Laila Al-Qatami of the District-based American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
The Washington Times had a good take on the survey.
Posted by Audrey Hudson at Wednesday, May 23, 2007