Thursday, February 01, 2007

How Radical is a "Radical" Muslim?

Ever since September 11th, 2001, we've all been assured that the men who preach jihad against the west and who aim to spread sharia law throughout the world are a small minority within Islam. After all, there can't be that many people who actually advocate the death penalty for converts from Islam, or amputations for theft, can there? These "radical" Muslims comprise perhaps 2% of the Muslim world, or so we've been told.

But take a look at this recent poll of UK resident Muslims , who are supposedly more moderate than their Middle East brothers in faith. Some of the "highlights":

  • 37% of Muslims between the ages of 16-24 want to live under sharia law.
  • 19% of Muslims aged 55 and above believe those who leave Islam should be killed. 36% of those between the ages of 16-24 share this belief.

    Perhaps these numbers are distorted because Muslims feel like outcasts in Britain. Maybe UK based Muslims believe they've been oppressed by the government, so their opinions are distorted. Think again. 84% of the Muslims polled stated that they have been treated fairly by the UK government, which leads us to conclude that the aforementioned sentiments on sharia law and death for converts are the genuine beliefs for a large number of Muslims.

    So when can we stop pretending that the ideas put forth by Hezbulloh, Al Qaeda, the Mahdi Army, and the dozens of other terrorist organizations are limited to extremist Muslims? Or at the very least, can we change the definition of "extremist" to mean "roughly 33%"?

    On a related note, I'd love to see a similar poll taken among US based Muslims. I can't believe the numbers would be comparable, but then again I never would have guessed the extent to which UK based Muslims share radical views.

    Story here.
  • No comments: