While anti-Muslim advocates like Frank Gaffney, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) have been outspoken advocates of the theory that radical Islamists are infiltrating the U.S., a poll released today by the Abu Dhabi Gallup center shows that American Muslims are the religious group in America most likely to reject violence against civilians.
The poll, an aggregate of Gallup polls conducted between January 1, 2008 and April 9, 2011, finds that 78 percent of Muslim Americans said military attacks against civilians are never justified, compared to 58 percent of protestants and Catholics, 52 percent of Jewish respondents and 33 percent of Mormons.
By contrast, West, for example, has said that Islam is incompatible with American values:
We already have a 5th column that is already infiltrating into our colleges, into our universities, into our high schools, into our religious aspect, our cultural aspect, our financial, our political systems in this country. And that enemy represents something called Islam and Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals that stand up and say that.”
The poll finds:
- Muslim Americans are most likely (89 percent) to reject violent attacks by individuals or small groups on civilians versus any other U.S. religious group.
- Nearly all Muslim Americans (92 percent) have no sympathy for al-Qaeda.
- Muslim Americans are the most likely (65 percent) to see U.S. actions as causing unfavorable views of U.S. in Muslim countries versus any other U.S. religious group.
While King’s hearings on the “radicalization” of American Muslims might indicate that Muslims are less loyal to the U.S. than other religious groups, the polling data suggests exactly the opposite:
- Muslim Americans are as likely as other major faith communities to have confidence in the country’s judicial system and the media.
- Muslim Americans overwhelmingly (93 percent) believe their co-faithful are loyal to America.
Perhaps most interestingly, the poll found that the political and social views expressed by Muslims are often closest to Jewish Americans. Including:
- Eighty-one-percent of Muslim Americans and 78 percent of Jewish Americans support a future in which an independent Palestinian state would coexist alongside of Israel.
While anti-Muslim pundits and politicians will continue to insist the Muslims Americans are easily radicalized against the U.S. and hold animosity toward Israel, the data provided in the Gallup poll suggests that these positions are simply not grounded in reality.