In yesterday’s (11.20) address about responding to the Paris terror attacks, Hillary Clinton said the following: “Islam is not our adversary…Muslims are peaceful and tolerant and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.” I’m somewhere between appalled and horrified at the post-Paris attitudes of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson about Muslims and Syrian refugees in particular, but Clinton was flat-out wrong. A small but significant percentage of Muslims have openly described themselves as not just intolerant but supporters of the psychopathic barbarism of ISIS
An 11.17 Pew poll states that a small but noteworthy percentage of Muslims in nations with significant Muslim populations support ISIS. 4% of the Arab population in Israel, or roughly 42,000 souls, have a favorable view of that fiendish organization. 5% and 8% of Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank are also pro-ISIS. Positive ISIS numbers among Nigerian Muslims is around 20%, and 12% of Malaysian Muslims feel the same way. And you know that a certain percentage of the “don’t know” crowd are also pro-ISIS — they just don’t want to lay their cards on the table.
The bottom line is that a small percentage of Muslims support ISIS, and that the possibility of a Muslim community harboring or shielding ISIS militants is not, at the very least, a crazy racist notion. This is the fear driving conservatives in this country. I don’t agree with pushing away moderate Muslims or fanning hateful attitudes (which will play right into the ISIS scheme) and I have nothing but compassion for Syrian refugees, but I doubt that the PEW statistics are wrong.
Not every expression of concern or caution about the doctrine of Islam is necessarily synonymous with bigotry and Islamophobia. Remember the summary that “Waking Up” author Sam Harris offered last year on Real Time with Bill Maher, which is that arguably 20% of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world are composed of nutty Jihadists (yes, a small sliver) and Islamists, who hold with the Jihadists in some ways but don’t believe in terrorism. And then beyond those two groups you have conservative Muslims, many of whom apparently believe in subjugating women, persecuting gays, honor killings of women who’ve been raped and even murdering Muslims who abandon the faith.