Top Menu

Surveys Show Muslims in Every Country Less Likely to Justify Killing Civilians than Americans and Israelis

(source for comic)

I recently published an article entitled Gallup Poll: Jews and Christians Way More Likely than Muslims to Justify Killing Civilians.  The poll found that Muslim-Americans (21%) were far less likely than their fellow Jewish (52%) and Christian (58%) countrymen to think it is sometimes justifiable to target and kill civilians.  (For the record, these numbers were 64% in Mormons and 43% in people with no religion/atheists/agnostics.)

Islamophobes didn’t like the results of this poll and quickly protested.  LibertyPhile, an anti-Muslim bigot who spends his free time spreading hatred of Muslims (one wonders how empty his personal life is that he kills his spare time doing this?), whined:

…The survey is of American Muslims, who are unlikely to be representative of Muslims in Muslim countries or of Muslims in Europe.

LibertyPhile is among a select group of Islamophobes who have compiled various poll results which portray Muslims in a negative light.  The operative logic is usually as follows: x% of Muslims believe it is sometimes justifiable to target and kill civilians, and x% is a lot!

I agree that x% is a lot.  Even the 21% of Muslim-Americans who think it is sometimes justifiable to target and kill civilians is unacceptably high.  Yet, the point that Islamophobes intentionally fail to mention is that this number is less–far less in this case–than the general public (including Jews and Christians). So while it’s absolutely atrocious that 21% of Muslim-Americans would think so, more than twice that percentage of Jewish- and Christian-Americans think so! This fact “steals their (the Islamophobes’) thunder,” so to speak.

With regard to LibertyPhile’s comment, the data we have from Muslim and European countries confirms that Muslims in general are less likely to justify the killing of civilians as compared to Jews and Christians in America.  Interestingly enough, LibertyPhile himself links to a site that references a poll that proves this!

LibertyPhile links to a website citing the Populus for Policy Exchange, a British study that found that between 7-16% of British Muslims think that it is sometimes justifiable to target and kill civilians. This means that Jewish- and Christian Americans are more than three times as likely to justify targeting and killing civilians than British Muslims.

LibertyPhile cites Pew Research Center.  Yet, Pew found the same results for French-Muslims: once again, only 16% of Muslims in France believe it is sometimes justifiable to target and kill civilians.  Pew notes that this is the case for the Muslims in all the European countries they polled; says Pew (emphasis added):

Like Muslims elsewhere in Europe only a tiny minority of French Muslims (16%) say that suicide bombings and other violence against civilian targets in defense of Islam can often or sometimes be justified.

Indeed, for Muslims in Germany that number is only 17% (according to a Pew poll), far less than the whopping 52% and 58% among American Jews and Christians, respectively.  According to the same poll, the percentage of Muslims in Spain is significantly higher, at 31%–which is still almost half of what it is for Christians in the United States.

The conclusion we draw from this is that Muslims in Western countries (such as United States, the U.K., France, Germany, and Spain) are far less likely than Jews and Christians in America to justify the targeting and killing of civilians.  This is quite the opposite of the picture that Islamophobes such as LibertyPhile paint.

What about Muslims in the Muslim-majority world?  Do they support the targeting and killing of civilians?  Robert Spencer’s JihadWatch published an article from CNS News, formerly called the Conservative News Service, which cited a Pew poll to prove that a sizable portion of the population did indeed support this.

Yet, even this source shows that support for the targeting and killing of civilians among Muslims in the Muslim world is still lower than what it is among Jews and Christians here in the United States. The article cited by Spencer reads:

In the Pew Global Attitudes Project poll released on Thursday, 68 percent of Palestinian Muslim respondents said suicide bombings against civilians were justifiable “to defend Islam from its enemies.”

That view was shared by 43 percent of respondents in Nigeria and 38 percent in Lebanon, where 51 percent of Shi’ites held the view compared to 25 percent of Sunnis.

Elsewhere, the proportion of Muslim respondents supporting suicide bombings against civilians was 15 percent in Egypt, 13 percent in Indonesia, 12 percent in Jordan, seven percent in Israel (Muslim Arab citizens), five percent in Pakistan and four percent in Turkey.

The Palestinians are split in between those inside of Israeli proper (1.5 million) and those in the Israeli Occupied Territories (4 million).  Using simple math (1.5×0.07+4×0.68)/(1.5+4)=0.51, we find that 51% of Palestinians overall think its sometimes justified to target and kill civilians.  On the the other hand, according to a Gallup poll 52% of Israelis think it is OK to target and kill civilians.

What we have then is:

Percentage of people who said it is sometimes justifiable to target and kill civilians:

Mormon-Americans 64%
Christian-Americans 58%
Jewish-Americans 52%
Israeli Jews 52%
Palestinians* 51%
No religion/Atheists/Agnostics (U.S.A.) 43%
Nigerians* 43%
Lebanese* 38%
Spanish Muslims 31%
Muslim-Americans 21%
German Muslims 17%
French Muslims 16%
British Muslims 16%
Egyptians* 15%
Indonesians* 13%
Jordanians* 12%
Pakistanis* 5%
Turks* 4%

*refers to Muslims only

Therefore, Muslims in every country are less likely than U.S. Jews and Christians (and Israeli Jews) to believe that it is sometimes justified to target and kill civilians.

*  *  *  *  *

The recent Gallup poll shows us how important context is when it comes to statistics.  For several years, the Islamophobes such as LibertyPhile have been peddling statistics showing that an inordinate number of Muslims in various countries believe it is justifiable to target and kill civilians.  For example, they would say something along the lines of:

16% of British Muslims believe it is justified to target and kill civilians.  There are over 2.5 million Muslims in the U.K.  Sixteen percent of 2.5 million is a lot!  That’s how many Muslims there are who believe terrorism is OK.

This number of 16% is certainly alarming, but the Islamophobe needs to prove that Muslims are more accepting of violence than people of other faiths, especially their own Judeo-Christian faith.  In order to draw such a conclusion, there must be another value from the other group to compare it to.  That’s what the recent Gallup poll gives us: a number to compare the 16% to.  And certainly, 58% and 52% are far greater than 16%.

The need for context–and something fair to compare a statistic to–is reflected in other such Muslim-bashing “factoids” that Islamophobes like LibertyPhile peddle.  For example, the site LibertyPhile links to notes that x% of Muslims want Sharia.  Aside from the fact that Muslims have a whole variety of views about what Sharia means and entails, we need to compare x% with the percentage of Jews and Christians who want Halacha and Biblical law in Israel and America.  For the Islamophobes, doing so would steal their thunder.

Ranting and raving about how many Muslims think it’s sometimes justifiable to target and kill civilians while your own religious group is worse really is a case of throwing stones living inside a glass house.  Throughout the Understanding Jihad Series, I have repeatedly harped on the overwhelming hypocrisy and double-standard Jewish and Christian Islamophobes use when they attack Islam.  More often than not, whatever they vilify in Islam is also found in their own religious faith.

*  *  *  *  *

The only worthwhile conclusion that we can draw from all this is that an unacceptable number of people in general–whether they be Muslim, Jewish, Christian, or even atheist/agnostic–think it’s OK to sometimes target and kill civilians.  This is a sobering thought, and should remind us that we should all work together to end war and bring peace to this earth.  The hateful and violent state of humanity–egged on by Islamophobes like Robert Spencer and LibertyPhile (as well as their counterparts in the Muslim world)–is truly disturbing.  Something is truly wrong when so many people–of every faith (as well as those of no faith)–believe it’s sometimes justified to take the life of an innocent human being.

My intention here is not to vilify Jews and Christians (see here).  It is only to prevent the line of thinking that has become endemic among us Americans: Those Foreign-Looking Moozlum People Over There are Evil and Wicked, Whereas We White Judeo-Christian People are Good and Holy.  Once it is acknowledged that we too have the same problem as they, we can draw not only a more accurate conclusion, but a more sensitive, tolerant, and helpful one.

Of course, it would be worthwhile to consider actual results on the ground: we Americans have (at minimum, using conservative numbers) killed 30 times as many Muslim civilians as Muslims have killed of ours, whereas Israelis have killed many-fold the number of civilians as Palestinians have killed of theirs.  Clearly, what people and states do is far more relevant than what they merely believe.

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Pingback: Christians and Jews are twice as likely to justify Terrorism than Muslims | The Muslim Perspective()

  • Pingback: Is ISIS Really Islamic? – Approaching Justice()

  • Pingback: Why would this country deem it necessary to ban a religion? - Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Conservatives, Liberals, Third Parties, Left-Wing, Right-Wing, Congress, President - Page 2 - City-Data Forum()

  • Pingback: Bayes, Stereotyping, and Rare Events » Duck of Minerva()

  • Pingback: Question to Europeans; Does fast growing Muslim population worry you? - Page 13 - City-Data Forum()

  • Pingback: Muslims least likely religious group to support the killing of civilians - Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Conservatives, Liberals, Third Parties, Left-Wing, Right-Wing, Congress, President - Page 7 - City-Data Forum()

  • Pingback: Should Islamic immigration be stopped or banned in the U.S.? - Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Conservatives, Liberals, Third Parties, Left-Wing, Right-Wing, Congress, President - Page 31 - City-Data Forum()

  • Pingback: Debate: Is Islam a Threat to Modern Society, Sami Zataari vs David Wood | Calling Christians()

  • Pingback: Statistiken talar för sig själv « Amanj Aziz()

  • Ilisha


    “In checking independent surveys on the Internet it appears this complete OPED is a fabrication of someone’s imagination.”

    This article refers to a Gallup Poll, and the sources are linked. It’s not a “fabrication.”

    “My guess is student activists or atheists.”

    That’s a new one! At least you’re original.

  • Gene Poole

    In checking independent surveys on the Internet it appears this complete OPED is a fabrication of someone’s imagination. Surveys of Christian Americans have found that less than 1% believe that killing in name of religion is acceptable. Followers of the Koran are far more likely to support killing in the name of religion, in some cases up to 33%. It appears that this site makes up statistics to smear those that they despise, hate or disagree with. My guess is student activists or atheists.

  • Pingback: Eric Allen Bell Chooses to Retain “Ridiculous Prejudice” | Islamophobia Today eNewspaper()

  • Khushboo

    Lance, you must be blind and dumb!

  • Jack Cope

    I also doubt that they are ‘atheist’, lots of the peeps like to pretend that they are (you may recall Laurence on this site) to hide their intentions. Damage control Lance!

  • Danios


    Considering all the links are provided in the article itself, I don’t think you really “searched all over.”

  • Lance Combs

    I have searched all over (including at gallup’s own site) and have not found this survey. I’ve found other articles that all give you the hat tip for “finding” this. I’m left with no other conclusion than to assume you make up polls to support your false claims and your bobblehead readers fall for it. Have fun being a sad excuse for a human being.

    I’m an atheist.

  • JengaBob

    Well, I responded earlier but my comment never went through.

    Yes there is. You made it seem like Muslims spontaneously decided to attack a Christian village after breaking their fast whereas all the other news sources make it clear that it was an argument that started it all.

    There’s yet another version of events you can read here:

    My second article says Christians threw stones at Muslim worshipers *AFTER* Muslims attacked Christian worshipers in a similar manner. The Christians shouldn’t have thrown stones but I suppose they were feeling oppressed and sought revenge against the people who had earlier attacked them. As a response, the article says Muslims from local villages invaded the Christian villages and burnt and raided several Christian homes, including the home of a priest. Eight Christian homes were burnt in total and several more were vandalized/attacked.

    The conflict was resolved, by the way, but maybe you’re only interested in the “score”:

    This is what a Human Rights Activist in Egypt (not a ‘biased’ Copt) is quoted in the article saying about the reconciliation meetings:

    Based on the concept of traditional tribal meetings, such reconciliation meetings are ostensibly meant for parties to come to amicable solutions outside of court. In reality however, the meetings are used to deny Copts their rights when they are attacked, human rights activists in Egypt say.

  • Sam Seed

    @Talisman. JengaBob is a troll that feeds on himself.

  • Talisman

    Is jenga whatever a troll? In that case….please don’t feed the trolls. They eat valuable time and resources.

  • NassirH

    “No contradiction. The news source itself leaves out some important facts, such as a priest’s home being targeted and Muslims attacking a Christian village.”

    You’re seriously delusional. The news report Mosizzle linked did in fact mention that homes in a Christian village were attacked. The hate site “AINA,” on the other hand, made it as if the evil Mooslims attacked the Copts spontaneously. It didn’t mention the source of the conflict, nor did it mention that some Copts also partook in violence. It’s clear that the AINA distorts incidents for ideological purposes, which is why Spencer uses it as a news source.

  • Khushboo

    ^these loons think of this as a game, hence, the word “score”. I’m sure these guys are so excited when a bad Muslim kills! This way, they can blame the religion instead of the criminals. WHat a shame!

  • Mosizzle

    “No contradiction”

    Yes there is. You made it seem like Muslims spontaneously decided to attack a Christian village after breaking their fast whereas all the other news sources make it clear that it was an argument that started it all.

    “I also didn’t see in the report where it said a Mosque was damaged”

    Like I said, the incident was reported by many news sites (but I could only link to one) and they mention that the mosque was damaged after an argument over a road accident outside turned violent. The AFP report I linked to says that someone opened fire on a mosque and its worshippers whilst the Associated Press says rocks were thrown at the mosque windows.

    “but at least the report stated several Christian homes were burned and one Christian death.”

    “at least”? What do you mean by that? Were you expecting them not to mention this important detail?

    “So, the score is one dead Christian, 4 wounded Muslims (possibly including some attackers) and an untold number of wounded Christians.

    Wow. So this is a “score” to you.

    The conflict was resolved, by the way, but maybe you’re only interested in the “score”:

Powered by Loon Watchers