The Enemy Within
Vol: 61 Issue: 28 Saturday, October 28, 2006
The Islamic Society of North America is what might be termed the face of ‘moderate’ Islam. Formed in 1963, the Islamic Society is an umbrella group that represents Muslim associations for youth, college students, engineers and others, and also provides support to Muslim chaplains and North American mosques. Its annual meeting regularly draws more than 30,000 people.
“Muslims For a Safe America” has a website that explains; “Muslims For A Safe America was established after the 2005 London bombings, to encourage honest and informed discussion among American Muslims about Islam and American national security, and to empower American Muslims to contribute actively to the ongoing national discussion about how to make America safer.”
Other than saying it is based in Chicago, the website gives no clue as to either its membership or the size of the organization. Just that it favors a safe America.
“Muslims For a Safe America” conducted a survey at the Islamic Society of North America s 43rd Annual Convention in Chicago from September 1, 2006 to September 4, 2006.
The survey was informal; the group set up a booth and asked convention attendees that were Muslims and also American citizens to participate. But the replies were illuminative.
The booth attracted 307 Muslim respondents, and the first question read: “Are you a U.S. Citizen? (If no, then don t fill out survey.)”
Having identified themselves as US citizens, the next question asked, “Do you consider yourself to be a Muslim first, an American first, or both equally?” Of the 307 respondents, 214 declared themselves ‘Muslims First’.
Only 4 of the 307 declared themselves to be ‘Americans First’, with 86 claiming they were ‘Both Equally’.
Asked, “Did the U.S. government have advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, and allow the attacks to occur?”, 200 of 307 responded with an unequivocal ‘Yes’.
When asked if they believed the US government orchestrated the attacks, 106 answered ‘Yes’ and 50 more were ‘undecided’.
A majority declared the tapes of Osama bin Laden claiming responsibility for 9/11 were fakes. 208 of the 307 respondents answered that it believed, “the US government is at war with the religion of Islam.”
In light of the survey’s findings, I found the answer to question #15 almost laughable.
After agreeing their first allegiance is to Islam and that America is at war with Islam, when asked,
“Is it justifiable for the U.S. government to do any of the following in an attempt to prevent terrorist attacks in America: a) taking religion and ethnicity into account as one factor when deciding whom to interview and search at airports?” 258 of 307 said ‘No.’
What kind of logic is this? In essence, the survey says, “You are the declared enemy of my declared first allegiance, but are unjustified in considering my declared first allegiance as a factor”.
And we’re buying it.
This survey was not conducted by some anti-Islamic organization bent on spreading false propaganda against Islam. It was conducted by Muslims with no axe to grind against either Islam or America.
The respondents weren’t jihadists from Afghanistan. They were ordinary Islamic Americans who were attending an ordinary convention held by one of America’s largest and most respectable Islamic social organizations.
If Islam has a ‘moderate’ representative face, it would be the Islamic Society of North America. It is regularly among the Islamic invitees to the White House Ramadan celebrations.
The majority respondents to the survey also indicated that they;
a) Supported Iran’s right to nuclear weapons;
b) Opposed US military action to stop Iran’s nuclear program;
c) By a margin of 294 to 8, opposed the US invasion of Iraq; and,
c) By a margin of 248 to 51, opposed the invasion of Afghanistan.
When it came the question; “Is violence by Muslims against the American military overseas acceptable, in retaliation for the American government s actions in the Muslim world?” 134 of 307 moderate Muslim American citizens said ‘yes’.
I am not trying to stir up anti-Islamic hysteria. Truth is neither anti or pro anything — facts have no agenda.
The facts are that; This survey is real. It is recent (less than seven weeks ago).
It reflects the majority attitude of members of one of America’s largest and most respected ‘moderate’ Islamic organizations.
The majority of Islamic ‘moderates’ believe they owe their first allegiance to Islam, not America. A third of those ‘moderates’ believe that there is justification for attacking US forces to retaliate against US actions in the Muslim world.
It would be different if I were simply trying to take some obscure poll and use it to try and whip up anti-Islamic sentiments. But I tried to find an example of a poll using the keywords ‘poll Islamic moderates.’
Most hits had ‘moderates’ set off in quotes, or used modifiers like ‘supposed’ and, in one case, ‘silent’. But I didn’t find any polls that reflected that there even WAS a ‘moderate Muslim majority’ on anything that sounded remotely moderate to my Western mind.
I found legions of hits with pages asking questions like, ‘where IS the moderate Muslim majority?’ on this issue, or that, but when it comes to tracking down WHAT constitutes a Muslim majority opinion, suddenly even the word ‘moderate’ gets all fuzzy and out of focus.
The harder you try and narrow it down, the more elusive the definitions get. What constitutes a Muslim ‘moderate’, and how does one stretch that definition to embrace the majority?
I’ve been reading and re-reading the survey, (http://muslimsforasafeamerica.org/?p=48) looking for the answer.
It seems that, in summary, the majority Muslim moderate view is that he owes his first loyalty to Islam and is justified in attacking America, given sufficient provocation.
A ‘moderate’ Muslim, then, means a devout Muslim who is not yet a jihadist. Unless sufficiently provoked.
And THAT’s what our political future is trusting in for its continued survival. Not provoking ‘moderate’ Islam to jihad. Or, as Winston Churchill described it in 1939, ‘feeding the crocodile in the hopes that it eats you last.’
“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1st Thessalonians 5:2-3)