A must-read from M. Zuhdi Jasser:
The statistics reveal that 1% of the study’s estimated 2.3 million Muslim Americans say that suicide bombings against civilian targets are “often justified” and 7% felt, “sometimes justified.” This demonstrates a potential threat of 184,000 potential Islamist terrorists in the United States. The study does nothing to connect the imminent responsibility of the remaining 92% in changing, deprogramming, and defeating this radical 8%. Moreover, even more concerning is the total 26% of those younger than 30 who even ‘rarely’ find justification for terrorism. Again, we find no questions or conclusions from Pew about the responsibility of the remaining 74% to lead a counter-jihad.
Similarly, 5% of Muslim Americans expressed “somewhat favorable opinions of Al Qaeda”. Yet, only 63% of foreign-born Muslims were able to muster “strong hostility” toward Al Qaeda, with 52% of all native-born Muslims, and a shocking 36% of African American Muslims doing the same. The need for a counter-jihad becomes all the more relevant in this context with such an “underwhelming” majority of Muslims demonstrating the moral courage simply to identify the clearest enemy of America in our time. Certainly, the seeds of leadership in this counter-jihad will come from these Muslims who have the courage to name Al Qaeda and have the courage unequivocally to condemn terrorism as an immoral act with never a justification. (source)
Jasser concludes, on Muslim support for terrorism:
For example, the study showed that religious observance correlated with an over two times higher rate of justification for suicide bombing in youth under 30. The conclusion can only be that when political Islam meets moral depravity in impressionable immature youth, the ends quickly justify the means. This is a volatile mixture. The mixture of politics and religious fundamentalism can most effectively be countered by defeating political Islam and reclaiming a spiritual, moral, and moderate Islam from the stranglehold of the political agenda of Islamists. This can only be done through a potent anti-Jihadist articulation by moderate anti-Islamist Muslims. Anti-Islamist Muslims need not only to condemn unequivocally the targeting of noncombatants (free of apologetics), but they must also deconstruct the religious legitimacy and the ideology of the Islamic state (political Islam). The study gives hope for this, but it provides few answers.
On American Nationalism:
Political Islam is the problem. Identification of nationality as Muslim is fertile soil for conspiracy theories. The only antidote to the spread of Islamism is a counter-jihad, which includes a strong American nationalism embodied in a belief in liberty, freedom, and pluralism under God. American nationalism alone is not an antidote because Islamists may have theocratic goals for their own American patriotism. American nationalism can defeat Islamism only if it also takes back the mantle of faith from the Islamists with the growth of a moral, spiritual Islam that can combat the immorality of terrorism in a counter-jihad from within a nation under God but anti-Islamist.
The section on conspiracy theories is especially trenchant.
How is it that only 40% of Muslim respondents would identify the fact that Arabs carried out the attacks of 9-11? This cannot be ignored. More specifically, 32% of American Muslims refused to answer and 28% were in complete disbelief that Arabs did it. Again, the more religious the Muslim American, the more likely they are to believe in this conspiracy theory. So if Islam is to provide moral courage for making brave stances against evil, significant concern should be raised that political Islam and its propaganda have a significant impact upon moral clarity.
Political Islam at its core thrives on dishonesty, fabricated enemies, and conspiracies in a world of spin over truth and corruption over morality. At the center of mechanisms of denial, is the creation of fantastic stories, which create false assumptions and feed the ego of those with inferiority complexes. In order to exert control, theocracy (political Islam) must manipulate information and create enemies while uniting the masses in Machiavellian ends – in many ways planting the seeds for fascism.
His final conclusion is something to remember.
If we are going to win this global conflict, analysis of studies like this one should not be overly negative or positive and should be reviewed through the Islamist lens to understand the context—the root cause (Islamism), effect (radicalization), and treatments (a counter-jihad separating spiritual Islam from political Islam). A morally clear spiritual Islam can eliminate politics from the domain of faith, which should be only a personal journey of individual Muslims to God. This process requires ijtihad, which is a re-interpretation of scripture in light of modern day. It also requires imams and scholars with moral courage to denounce each and every suicide operation around the world as immoral, un-Islamic, and barbaric without any justification – ever.
There is much more, including a good explanation for how political Islam leads to fascism, and it’s all worth reading.