Poll Finds Muslims Concerned About Rise Of Extremism
Views Of Muslims In America And Abroad Similar
A new poll released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life finds that American Muslims are more comfortable living in contemporary society but that both Muslims living worldwide and US Muslims tend not to see an inherent conflict between being devout and living in a modern society.
American Muslims are more likely “to have close friends who do not share their faith, and they are much more open to the idea that many religions – not only Islam – can lead to eternal life in heaven,” according to the survey.
The surveyors conducted more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in 80-plus languages and dialects, covering every country that has more than 10 million Muslims. Security concerns prevented data to be collected from individuals in China, India, Saudi Arabia and Syria.
Most Muslims Do Not Support Violence To Defend Islam
With regard to the use of violence against civilians in the name of Islam, fewer than one-in-ten American Muslims believe it can be justified. This view is generally shared by Muslims worldwide.
As the Boston bombings reflect, terrorists only have to be right once and that it does not take hundreds of radicals to carry out a terror attack. Therefore the finding which bears more significance in the war on terrorism is that, according to the Pew poll, “substantial minorities in several countries say such acts of violence are at least sometimes justified, including 26% of Muslims in Bangladesh, 29% in Egypt, 39% in Afghanistan and 40% in the Palestinian territories.”
Concern About Radical Islam Widespread
Conversely, at least half of Muslims in 22 of the 36 countries where the question was asked expressed some concern about religious extremist groups in their country, and, in most countries, their concern was greater about Islamic extremism than Christian extremism.
Bangladeshi Building Collapse Raises Moral Questions
The collapse of a factory in Bangladesh has raised significant questions about the complicity of the government, construction standards and corruption. But it has also caused consumers and businesses alike to ask what the true cost is of the clothing these factories produce.
Reuters columnist Ian Bremmer contends that outside pressure is required to compel either the Bengladeshi or other governments to enact change.
“Bangladesh isn’t the kind of country that will shame a company into compliance by tarring its reputation — it’s too small, and media coverage of its labor practices pales in comparison to China’s. Until pressure is added from outside Bangladesh, action inside the country won’t force change in the private sector,” he writes.
After the death of hundreds of Bangladeshi workers in the collapse of a building, many are stepping back to consider their complicity in those deaths.
An article in Der Speigel echoes Bremmer’s sentiment when it asserts the collapse “serves as a reminder that nothing has changed when it comes to the inhumane conditions under which clothes are made in Bangladesh for European and American textile companies and clothing chains. And the same can be said about the culture of corruption that is rampant in Bangladesh, the abundance of illegally procured construction permits and the lax attitude factory owners take toward safety standards.”