You admit that you have no way of knowing what percentage of Muslims supports terrorism, and it goes without saying that there are many who do not.Well, now we have a way. News.com.au reports (via LGF) that a British newspaper has polled local Muslims about the recent terror attacks in London:
A new poll says about a quarter of British Muslims sympathise with the motives of the London bombers, if not their methods.A link to the Telegraph's own article about the poll is here. and the results are here:
And the survey in London's Daily Telegraph shows one-third of British Muslims believe Western society is immoral.
The poll asked Muslims if they felt the July the 7th suicide attacks in which 56 peopled died were justified, and six per cent said they were.
71 per cent said they weren't justified at all, and 11 per cent said they weren't justified on balance.
But asked whether they had sympathy with the feelings and motives of the four British Muslim bombers, 13 per cent said they had a lot of sympathy and another 11 per cent had a little.
Looking at only those respondents who said the attacks were "on balance justified", we have a figure of six percent. Of course, that figure is only meaningful in comparison to the percentage of British non-Muslims who think the bombings were justified, but I imagine that level would be close to zero.
Perhaps a different poll would have yielded a different result. In fact, the News.com article says a separate poll, by the Sun, found that 91% of British Muslims "didn't feel the suicide bombings were justified by the Islamic holy book, the Koran". The Sun's article about its poll, conducted by research firm MORI, is here.
It's heartening that the vast majority, 91%, of Sun poll respondents thought the bombings were not justified by the Koran but that still means 9% either felt they were justified, or couldn't say. That seems consistent with a 6% level of support. So, while acknowleding that it hardly represents the final word on this matter, let's take the Telegraph's 6% figure at face value for now.
However, let's also bear a few things in mind:
The 6% figure leaves out the 11% of survey respondents who felt the terror attacks weren't justified "on balance".
Some respondents who actually support the attacks may not have felt comfortable saying so to the poll takers.
This was a poll of British Muslims. Support for the London attacks may be much higher among Muslims in the Middle East.
Muslims who feel that the London terror bombings were not justified may nevertheless feel that other terror attacks, like Palestinian suicide bombings of Israeli civillians, are.
Ignoring all those factors, we're left with six percent of Muslims supporting terrorism. I'll round that down to five, just to be cautious. With one billion Muslims in the world, that level suggests that some 50 million support the London attacks. And for the reasons listed above, the actual number is most likely far greater. While I'm aware and appreciative of the fact that millions of other Muslims reject terrorism, that's still one heck of an extremist fringe we're dealing with.