h1

Fighting MSM Spin…With Spin

May 24, 2007

There’s been a lot of buzz around the blogs about a recent Pew Research Poll (pdf) concerning the views of Muslim Americans with regards to terrorism and living in American society.   The results are pretty interesting.   The reactions by various bloggers seem to reveal sort of a glass half empty/full view on the whole thing.  The most talked about statistic in this study is the fact that 26% of US Muslims aged 18-29 view suicide bombings as at least sometimes justified in defense of their faith.   As you might imagine, this kind of stat raised a few eyebrows.  Unfortunately, some blogs, like American Pundit, misread the data:

That’s more than 1/4 of all US Muslims between 18-29 years of age, who support suicide bombings, and say that they are always justified.

As you can see from the results, the 26% is simply the sum of those who feel the tactic is often/sometimes or rarely justified (not always):

pewmuslims.png

Simple mistake?  Maybe. 

Other blogs, like LGF and Ace of Spades, had a problem with the headlines that the various news outlets were using to present the story, and felt that they were downplaying the findings.  From Ace:

Your very professional newsmedia knows better, however. They use their j-school expertise to find the truly important stuff in the poll.

Let’s check the headlines, eh?

USAToday: Poll: Most Muslims seek to adopt American lifestyle

Wow! “Most!” Awesome!

Personally, I’m a little bit more worried about the 26% of young Muslim males who want to kill me, but it’s good to know that “most Muslims” seek to adopt the “American lifestyle.” (Which may or may not involve killing Americans.)

Um, no. That’s some pretty serious spin. Intellectually dishonest, actually. 

While it is a bit unsettling to see any US Muslims say that suicide bombing is justified at all, I think this poll on the whole is encouraging. Given the fact that we haven’t really had any American Muslim suicide bombings in this country, I’d say all the hysterics coming from some of these blogs is more than a tad unwarranted. 

Now, I realize that people on all sides are going to look at this and use it to justify their preconceived notions one way or another.  I guess I’m just calling on my fellow bloggers to show a little more objectivity and not resort to spouting untruths or dramatics when analyzing this data.  These are fellow Americans we are talking about here, after all.  Fellow citizens that, as the USA Today put it, “seek to adopt American lifestyle”.  

Update:  One prominent Muslim reformer reacts to the survey, in a very thoughtful op-ed in the WSJ: How to End ‘Islamophobia’ The latest survey of American Muslims won’t reassure their fellow citizens.

Advertisements

10 comments

  1. Thanks for setting the records straight. You’re right there are many who jump on headlines without fully understanding what they are reporting or blogging about.

    Like you I would be concerned with the 26% who would want to kill us, but that also means that there are 74% who don’t. I’m pretty sure that there are 26% of non Muslim Americans that would like to kill us also. But we won’t see that poll.

    The focus on ones religion versus their hostility should not be exclusive to Muslims, Christians are far from guilt free.


  2. Yea it seemed like the knee-jerk reaction from many of them was “Look! Muslims support terrorists!”, or “Media bias!”, without looking into the the context or what the data might mean in the real world. Like I said, it’s not like we’ve had a rash of suicide bombings in this country. It is interesting that the question was posed as “suicide bombings” specifically rather than the more general “killing innocents” or “supporting terrorism”. From the poll is is unclear as which circumstances would be required to gain this support as well. Even so, it was a very distinct minority.

    All I’m asking for is a little more intellectual honesty (and I ask the others hold me to mine as well). It was clearly lacking here, in my opinion.

    BTW- Again, it’s not to be assumed that someone ok with the idea of suicide bombing ‘wants to kill you’. I don’t see how anyone can get that from this poll. For example, I may be ok with killing someone in my own self defense (by whatever method), but that doesn’t mean I’m a homicidal maniac who will kill indiscriminently. It’s circumstantial. I just don’t believe that this poll is showing that 26% of Muslim Americans are terrorists. It’s showing that a small percentage of them believe in the martyrdom tenants of their religion.

    Maybe I’m way off, but I think it’s worth debating and exploring further rather than getting hysterical about it.


  3. You are not off base. It is worth the debate. Intellectual honesty seems to be missing in action a lot when it come to this war, Muslims and the rest. Your topic is something that should be continued and fully discussed.

    BTW:I wasn’t suggesting that it is ok for anyone to bomb or kill another. I was stating that all religions are guilt if this, so polls pointing only at Muslims as a whole is unintelligent.

    Thanks for giving me something else to think about.


  4. If a poll came out that only 1% of Christians believed suicide bombings were sometimes acceptable to defend the teachings of Jesus, you would hear an outcry like you have never heard before. This poll is very disturbing, why this incessant appeal to give this violent religion every excuse in the book is mindblowing to me.

    “Christians” do not have a violent past, as some would assume. The inquisitions were “Catholics” killing Jews and Christians for denying the infallability of the Church. The Salem Witch Trials were brought on by a Puritan sect of legalistic heretics, not Christians. They just all get lumped together by people who either do not, or can not, see the difference between real christianity and the devil’s clever imitations.


  5. Suppose you’re right reggie, what is your solution? Internment camps?

    BTW- did you just refer to “the devil”?


  6. Are you talking about a time when we actually knew how to fight a war? When the American people understood that when our soldiers were at war, we all were at war? You mean back when, by and large, our press would not sell us out at every turn by publishing our troop movements, or secret CIA covert operations we had planned, for all to see, including our enemy? Leak or no, the press is just as complicit in this treasonous activity as the leaker. Are you referring to a time when Americans understood if they had to sacrifice during a time of war, that was o.k. because losing was not an option. We cry and moan today at $3 a gallon gas prices and people use that as an excuse to leave Iraq. The average American is not having to sacrifice for this war, if they do not want to pay attention to it, they don’t have to. That is also going to be our biggest downfall, we are so prosperous, so fat and happy with no worries (some believe) that we, just 5 and a half years removed from 9-11, have fallen asleep at the wheel again. It may take another attack of devastating proportions to wake us up again, God help us!

    As for your specific comment on the internment camps, my comment to that is this. Look at France, big Muslim influx over the past 10 years, have to deal with car burnings on a nightly basis. Sarkozy is fixing to deal with that situation by paying all illegal immigrants to leave. Hopefully that will help their situation. Or maybe you want to look at Lebanon, where Muslims are illegally taking over that country while killing Christians just because they are not Muslim. Or how about their illegal takeover of Bosnia, with the help of the Clinton administration, where they slaughtered men, women and children just because they were not Muslims. I could keep going but hopefully you are beginning to get my point.

    We just recently foiled a terrorist attack of 10 jets that were being planned to blow up over U.S. cities, and another one at Fort Dix.

    You have the situation a few months ago with the Imams on a jet asking for seatbelt extenders when they had no need for them, praising Allah and Bin Laden, talking about terrorist attacks, and some brave Americans refused to allow the jet to take off. They are now trying to sue those very same Americans for profiling and religious discrimination! We will see how far that goes. What they are doing is testing the waters, just to see how far they can go before people will start to complain or notice them. They are here and plotting, they are very patient people, just because they have not struck again yet does not mean they haven’t tried and won’t try again. We need to wake up!


  7. As for your specific comment on the internment camps, my comment to that is this. Look at France, big Muslim influx over the past 10 years, have to deal with car burnings on a nightly basis. Sarkozy is fixing to deal with that situation by paying all illegal immigrants to leave. Hopefully that will help their situation. Or maybe you want to look at Lebanon, where Muslims are illegally taking over that country while killing Christians just because they are not Muslim. Or how about their illegal takeover of Bosnia, with the help of the Clinton administration, where they slaughtered men, women and children just because they were not Muslims. I could keep going but hopefully you are beginning to get my point.

    Have we seen a large influx of Muslims in this country? We have a nation of 300 million, and according to that survey, only 2.3 million of them are Muslim (less than 1% of the population). In other words, they have a long way to go if they’re going to ‘take over’.

    I think the solution is to work with the Muslim community in this country towards condemning this kind of behavior. If the majority of them reject suicide bombings (as revealed in the survey), those people need to be more vocal about it. The idea here is not to alienate the Muslims, but to alienate the ideology that says this sort of thing is acceptable.


  8. It didn’t happen in France overnight, our 20 million illegal Mexican population didn’t either, it takes time. As they are pushed out of France, the influx here could hit a more rapid pace. The ones who believe in suicide bombings will not listen to reason, they do not care what you or I have to say. Their religion tells them to kill the infidels and to rule the world with Islamic Law.

    Every super power in history has fallen from enemy infiltration from within, we are heading down that same path because we are bending over backwards to accomodate this religion, and I believe many of them are laughing at us while plotting to kill us, just my opinion though, take it for what it’s worth.

    I can’t believe I forgot to list that back during WWII we also did not have to deal with a Congress, intent on securing defeat, willing to play chicken with our troops’ funding, thereby emboldening our enemy and demoralizing our troops.


  9. Check my update. I think it could work with more Muslims like Dr. Hamid.


  10. This situation is familiar to me. It is possible to discuss.

    By the way, what do you think about this icons site?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: