Religion

Majority of Muslims Concerned About Islamic Extremism in New Pew Research Survey

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September 11 will be a day forever associated with Islamic extremism, when just 19 fundamentalists crashed four planes full of passengers, blew a hole in the Pentagon, and reduced the World Trade Center to bloody rubble. Only, with the highly-charged emotions associated with the attack, many often forget the “extremism” half of that and instead blame all Muslims for the acts of a psychotic few.

A new Pew Research Group survey has discovered that the majority of Muslims share many Americans’ concerns about extremists. Pew Research surveyed Muslims in 11 countries and an average of 67 percent said they were “somewhat or very concerned” about Islamic extremism. For five of the 11 countries surveyed, including Pakistan, those concerns have increased over the past year. Turkey was “the only country surveyed where at least half of Muslims (51%) say they are not worried about Islamic extremism.”

The survey also discovered that “[h]alf or more of Muslims in most countries surveyed say that suicide bombing and other acts of violence that target civilians can never be justified in the name of Islam.” This shows a decline in support for the tactic over the last decade, with only Muslims in Gaza, the West Bank, and the Palestinian territories saying that suicide attacks “are often or sometimes justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies.”

This survey comes on the heels of the proposed “Million Americans Against Fear” rally – originally dubbed “The Million Muslim March” – taking place today on the National Mall in Washington D.C. and led by 9/11 “truther” M.D. Rabbi Alam. Initial reports put the number of attendees in the “hundreds,” and far shy from the proposed goal. A counter-protest of motorcyclists – dubbed “The 2 Million Bikers to DC” rally – is also happening although they were denied a permit to assemble.

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