IN THE 2011 Pew Research Center poll about American Muslims. One question was: “How concerned are you about possible rise of Islamic extremism in U.S.? Sixty percent said “Very, somewhat” and 35 percent said “Not too/Not at all.” The main point Pew concluded from this is that there wasn’t a big change because it was down 1 percent from the 2007 poll.
But the very loud alarm bell is ignored. If 60 percent of American Muslims say they are concerned, doesn’t that say that there is a huge problem here? Perhaps a problem many of them would be willing to help deal with if given help and encouragement?
Another question was even more amazing. “Have U.S. Muslim leaders done as much as they should to speak out against extremists?” A remarkable 48 percent said, “Have not done enough” compared to 34 percent who said they have “Done as much as they should.” In other words, half of American Muslims don’t think their own leaders have worked hard enough to counter extremism!
If American Muslims say—despite their self-interest and peer pressure—that half their own leaders haven’t done enough, then why shouldn’t the rest of the country come to the same conclusion? And why shouldn’t changing that situation be a major priority rather than being swept under the rug as if no problem exists?
This, then, is the dilemma and why young people like the Tsarnaev brothers will be indoctrinated with extremist Islam with almost no alternative offered on the other side. If groups that are Muslim Brotherhood fronts are going to be treated by the American establishment as normative, moderate Islam, what space is there for any real moderate Islam?
If the enemy is not going to be defined as radical Islam or Islamism or some other phrase that identifies the issue, then how can anyone campaign against such doctrines?
The West has paralyzed itself and, ironically the first people who are going to suffer are Muslims who are not Islamists and not radicals. The proper allies and those to whom sympathy is to be extended is not Hamas, Hizballah, the Muslim Brotherhood, the radical Islamists in Syria, the sophisticated Islamists in Turkey, CAIR, and such groups but their enemies within the Muslim community.
That is the lesson of the Boston Marathon terrorist attack. Otherwise, there will be many more Tsarnaev’s just as there have been repeated “conversion” experiences to become radical terrorists in case after case in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and many other countries over the last decade.
With a massive pro-Islamist, pro-terrorist propaganda machine on one side and almost nothing on the other side how could someone expect anything else to happen?
Originally published at Rubin Reports.Barry Rubin
About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.
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