Tiny lu­natic fringe adds up to a big threat

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Michelle Malkin

If we be­lieve the spin of As­so­ci­ated Press head­line writ­ers, there’s lit­tle cause for con­cern about a new Pew poll of Amer­i­can Mus­lims. “Most U.S. Mus­lims re­ject sui­cide bomb­ings,” the AP head­line writer blithely re­ports.

But the de­tails of the poll show that the al­ways-down­played tiny mi­nor­ity of ji­hadi sym­pa­thiz­ers in Amer­ica is cause for big con­cern.

The poll found that while 80 per­cent of U.S. Mus­lims be­lieve sui­cide bomb­ings of civil­ians to de­fend Is­lam can­not be jus­ti­fied, fully 13 per­cent said they can be jus­ti­fied, at least rarely. One in four younger Amer­i­can Mus­lims find sui­cide bomb­ings in de­fense of Is­lam “ac­cept­able at least in some cir­cum­stances.”

About 29 per­cent of those sur­veyed had ei­ther fa­vor­able views about al Qaeda or did not ex­press an opin­ion. Yes, they ei­ther gave al Qaeda thumbs-up or had no opin­ion about the ter­ror­ist group re­spon­si­ble for slaugh­ter­ing nearly 3,000 of their fel­low Amer­i­cans on 9/11 and re­spon­si­ble for a global blood­bath from Bali to Bri­tain, the Mid­dle East, and be­yond.

A third of those polled be­lieve the in­va­sion of Afghanistan to take out al Qaeda train­ing camps af­ter 9/11 was wrong. In ad­di­tion, only 40 per­cent of all Amer­i­can Mus­lims be­lieve Arab men car­ried about the 9/11 at­tacks — join­ing Char­lie Sheen, Rosie O’Don­nell and the inside-job con­spir­acy-mon­gers. The poll fo­cused par­tic­u­lar con­cern on ji­hadi sym­pa­thy among young Mus­lims and black Mus­lims:

“Mus­lim Amer­i­cans re­ject Is­lamic ex­trem­ism by larger mar­gins than do Mus­lim mi­nori­ties in West­ern Euro­pean coun­tries. How­ever, there is some­what more ac­cep­tance of Is­lamic ex­trem­ism in some seg­ments of the U.S. Mus­lim pub­lic than oth­ers. Fewer na­tive-born African Amer­i­can Mus­lims than oth­ers com­pletely con­demn al Qaeda. In ad­di­tion, younger Mus­lims in the U.S. are much more likely than older Mus­lim Amer­i­cans to say that sui­cide bomb­ing in the de­fense of Is­lam can be at least some­times jus­ti­fied.”

“It is a hair-rais­ing num­ber,” Rad­wan Mas­moudi, pres­i­dent of the Wash­ing­ton-based Cen­ter for the Study of Is­lam and Democ­racy, told the AP. In­deed. The num­bers should be a wake-up call, not an­other ex­cuse for the main­stream me­dia to down­play the threat of home­grown ji­had.

The poll comes on the heels of the Fort Dix ji­hadi ter­ror bust in­volv­ing young, Amer­i­can­raised Mus­lims and the con­vic- tion last week of Mus­lim doc­tor Rafiq Ab­dus Sabir — born in Har­lem, based in Florida — who had pledged loy­alty to al Qaeda and vowed to treat in­jured al Qaeda fight­ers so they could re­turn to Iraq to kill Amer­i­cans. A Brook­lyn book­store owner and a Wash­ing­ton, D.C., cab driver also pleaded guilty and were sen­tenced to prison in the case. The tiny mi­nor­ity of ji­hadi sym­pa­thiz­ers aren’t just sit­ting around stew­ing harm­lessly about their be­liefs. They are re­cruit­ing, pros­e­ly­tiz­ing, plot­ting and grow­ing.

I’m re­minded of a sim­i­lar poll con­ducted in In­done­sia last fall. One in 10 In­done­sian Mus­lims was found to sup­port bomb­ings in de­fense of Is­lam. They took the news a lit­tle more se­ri­ously in “mod­er­ate” In­done­sia. One in 10 in In­done­sia, you see, equals 19 mil­lion Mus­lims for vi­o­lent ji­had. That’s just In­done­sia.

Re­cent polling in Bri­tain found that 13 per­cent of Bri­tish Mus­lims be­lieve the Lon­don sub­way bombers are righ­teous “mar­tyrs,” and 7 per­cent ap­prove of sui­cide bomb­ing at­tacks on civil­ians in Bri­tain in some cir­cum­stances.

Now, add that to the 16 per­cent of French Mus­lims, 16 per­cent of Span­ish Mus­lims, 7 per­cent of Ger­man Mus­lims, 28 per­cent of Egyp­tian Mus­lims, 14 per­cent of Pak­istani Mus­lims, and 46 per­cent of Nige­rian Mus­lims who told Pew last sum­mer that “vi­o­lence against civil­ian tar­gets in or­der to de­fend Is­lam” can be jus­ti­fied “of­ten/some­times.”

A few fringe ji­hadists here, a few fringe ji­hadists there, and soon you’re talk­ing about bloody real num­bers.

Michelle Malkin is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

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