This guest post is by my son, Moshe Epstein, 17 years-old, and newly graduated from high school. English is his second language. The views expressed here are his own. This is his first blog.
"Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be
unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is their destination."
A common argument repeated many times by Muslim apologists is that, "It's only a small minority," of Muslims who become violent political extremists. In the wake of so many horrific murders around the world, the most recent one a murder of a British soldier in London, the apologists are on the defensive, once again spouting the idea that we shouldn't blame or condemn ALL Muslims, because those who engage in terror are a minority.
Unfortunately, attributing terror to a small minority of Muslims is like saying that only a small number of white supremacists hurt anyone. Also, this faulty theory of a radical minority in Islam fails to explain why religious violence is largely endemic to Islam, witness the tremendous persecution of religious minorities in Muslim countries.
No Major Problem
In other words, Muslim apologists brush aside the increased Islamic terrorism threat, resultant increases in loss of liberties and privacy rights because, "Most Muslims are not terrorists." By implication, the apologists would have us all believe that Islamic terrorism isn't really a major problem for western countries, like Britain or Australia, and that a growing Muslim population isn't really a bad thing. Of course, many Muslim extremists do not actually get to the point where they manage to carry out their plans of terrorism, but we should certainly not ignore their intent.
In truth, even a tiny minority of 1% of Muslims worldwide translates to 15 million believers - hardly an insignificant number. However, the "minority" of Muslims who approve of terrorists, their goals, or their means of achieving them is much greater than this. In fact, it isn't even a true minority in some cases, depending on how goals and targets are defined.
The following polls convey what Muslims say are their attitudes toward terrorism, al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, the 9/11 attacks, violence in defense of Islam, Sharia, honor killings, and matters concerning assimilation in Western society. The results are all the more astonishing because most of the polls were conducted by organizations with an obvious interest in "discovering" agreeable statistics that downplay any cause for concern:
(61%) of Egyptians approve of attacks on Americans
(32%) of Indonesians approve of attacks on Americans
(41%) of Pakistanis approve of attacks on Americans
(38%) of Moroccans approve of attacks on Americans
(83%) of Palestinians approve of some or most groups that attack Americans (only 14% oppose)
62%) of Jordanians approve of some or most groups that attack Americans (21% oppose)
(42%) of Turks approve of some or most groups that attack Americans (45% oppose)
A minority of Muslims disagreed entirely with terror attacks on Americans:
(Egypt 34%; Indonesia 45%; Pakistan 33%)
About half of those opposed to attacking Americans were sympathetic with al-Qaeda’s attitude toward the U.S.
Now, what about the Muslims who believe they are doing such things because they're defending Islam against other extremists?
(74%) in the Middle East, the strongest supporting of "Sharia Law" coming from countries such as:
(56%) in Tunisia
(83%) in Morocco
(44%) in Turkey
(74%) in the South Asia region
(77%) in Southeast Asia
(84%) in Pakistan
The following countries support the notion that suicide bombing is justified:
(26%) in Bangladesh
(29%) in Egypt
(39%) in Afghanistan
(40%) in the Palestinian territories
Muslims in the following countries say that tensions between more religiously observant and less observant Muslims are a very big problem in their country:
(34%) in Pakistan
(38%) in Lebanon
(74%) in Afghanistan
Asked if they support Iran acquiring nuclear weapons
(61%) in Egypt said they do.
Asked if they have a favorable opinion of Hamas
(34%) in Egypt said they do.
To use a somewhat crude analogy – Islam is like a type of virus. Now, it's true that not all carriers of this virus will necessarily fall ill to a full-blown serious health condition, but as long as the virus has infected some Muslims and is spreading, there will always be serious outbreaks of the manifestations of this virus. That makes the virus dangerous in and of itself.
That virus is Islam and it must be contained before it is too late.