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Al Arabiya Poll: Some Arabs Justify 9/11 And Deny Al-Qaeda’s Culpability; I Say: Yeah, So What? (I)

I recently published two articles: Gallup Poll: Jews and Christians Way More Likely than Muslims to Justify Killing Civilians and Surveys Show in Every Country Muslims Less Likely to Justify Killing Civilians Than Americans and Israelis.

One anti-Muslim critic posted the following comment in response:

Interesting poll carried out by al-Arabiya…..

More than one-third of Arabs justify the 9/11 attacks, and only 23 percent believe Al Qaeda was behind the aerial suicide bombings.

The survey included 220,000 Arabs and was carried out by the Al-Arabia television channel in Dubai and a British research institute.

Thirty-six percent of the respondents justified the attacks, but only 38 percent took the opposite view, leaving another 16 percent undecided or with no opinion.

(You can google for the link)

I did google for the link and could not find it.  Instead, I found link after link of Islamophobic websites all linking to each other.  Finally, it seems I located what seems to be the original anti-Muslim site to make the claim, the Israel National News:

Dubai Poll: More than Third of Arabs Justify 9/11

More than one-third of Arabs justify the 9/11 attacks, and only 23 percent believe Al Qaeda was behind the aerial suicide bombings.

The survey included 220,000 Arabs and was carried out by the Al-Arabia television channel in Dubai and a British research institute.

Thirty-six percent of the respondents justified the attacks, but only 38 percent took the opposite view, leaving another 16 percent undecided or with no opinion.

Only 23 percent believe that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks, while a large number – 26 percent – think that the terrorist organization did not plan and carry out the hijack-bombings.

Slightly less than half of those participating in the survey – 48 percent – do not think that the assassination of Osama Bin Laden was a criminal act…

Forgive me if I take Israel National News with a grain of salt.  The hyperlinks to “the survey” in that article lead nowhere.

On the other hand, it could also be good old MEMRI:

36% of Arabs in Al-Arabiya TV Survey Justify 9/11

Al-Arabiya TV, in collaboration with a British research institute, conducted an online survey on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Out of the 220,000 Arabs who participated, 23% believed Al-Qaeda was responsible for the 9/11 attacks and 26% did not. 36% said that the attacks were justified and 38% that they were not. 16% considered the assassination of Osama bin Laden a criminal act, 48% did not, and 36% were undecided.

Source: Facebook site of Al-Arabiya TV

No hyperlink is provided to the “Facebook site of Al-Arabiya TV.”  I visited the Facebook site myself and did not find any such information.

Forgive me once again for not taking MEMRI as the Gospel truth.  MEMRI’s founder and president is Yigal Carmon, who served as a Colonel in the Military Intelligence Directorate of Israel.  He also had a direct governmental role in the administration of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.  One can hardly be faulted for doubting MEMRI’s reliability.

Indeed, Middle East expert Dr. Norman Finkelstein calls MEMRI “a main arm of Israeli propaganda,” noting that the organization “use[s] the same sort of propaganda techniques as the Nazis.”  Says Finkelstein further:

They take things out of context in order to do personal and political harm to people they don’t like.

And he concludes by saying:

I think it’s a reliable assumption that anything MEMRI translates from the Middle East is going to be unreliable

One should note, however, that MEMRI says that it was “an online survey.”  What is interesting is that when I finally did find some mention of this poll in an article on the Al Arabiya website (helpfully linked to by an anti-Muslim, pro-Israeli website), the article itself–the same Arabic article on Al-Arabiya that the Islamophobes cite, no less–concludes by questioning the scientific validity of the survey.  The concluding paragraph notes that a “survey expert” contacted by Al Arabiya “does not view the results as [accurately] reflecting the trends in the Arab world,” and that “we must look into the study more and study its [research] methodology” to confirm its validity.

Why would anyone rely on a possibly unscientific internet poll instead of the far more reliable Gallup poll which found that only 7% of the Muslim and Arab world thought the 9/11 attacks were justified?  Robert Spencer of JihadWatch cited an article by Robert Satloff of The Weekly Standard, which pointed out that this “7%” figure includes only those who thought the 9/11 attack was “completely justified” and that the data shows “another 23.1 percent of respondents” who thought the attacks were “in some way justified.”  In other words, a total of 30.1% of the Muslim and Arab world thought the 9/11 attacks were either “completely justified” (7%) or “in some way justified” (23.1%).

Coincidentally enough, the number 30.1% is close to the number found by the Al Arabiya poll.  Therefore, although there still exist unanswered questions about the scientific validity of the study, the number seems to corroborate the data found by Gallup.  However, the Gallup poll reveals what is missing from what we have from Al Arabiya (since we don’t have the actual study): the difference between thinking the 9/11 attacks were “completely justified” and “in some way justified.”

It is well-known that respondents to surveys often have complex answers to questions asked by the polls but are forced to choose between answer choices that do not adequately reflect this complexity.  For example, a question asking “do you support Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, or neither/no answer” would be difficult to answer for many progressive voters who do not like Barack Obama due to his failed campaign promises and the fact that he has not followed progressive policies.  Yet, many of them will still select Barack Obama in this poll, because they like him more than Sarah Palin, thinking of it as a “what team are you on” sort of question (i.e. liberal vs. conservative).

In other words, the complex answer of “I supported Barack Obama in the 2008 election and still do support him over Sarah Palin, yet I am totally disappointed by him” is not one of the options to choose from.  Therefore, such a progressive would choose what he thinks is the best approximation, and this may well be tick-marking Barack Obama’s name.

Similarly, when a Muslim or Arab is asked “Do you think that the 9/11 attacks were justified?” and the answer choices are between completely justified, somewhat justified, and not justified at all, many of them will select “somewhat justified” to convey the thought that one Arab acquaintance of mine told me (which of course I strongly disagree with):

I don’t think the 9/11 attacks were justified in the sense of killing civilians.  That is against Islam and what I believe in.  However, I feel that it is justified in the sense that America had it coming to them for what they did to us and continue to do.

This point is conveyed in the Al-Arabiya article itself, which states that many Arabs “considered the U.S. deserving of this [the 9/11 attack] and that what happened was justified as vengeance against its atrocities and positions against the Arabs” even while at the same time holding the view that the “operation [was] abhorrent enough not to want to attribute it to [themselves].”

These Arabs thought 9/11 was a case of the chickens coming home to roost, and were hopeful that Americans would know how it feels.  This is certainly different than thinking that the 9/11 attacks were completely justified.  Indeed, most Arabs feel deeply uncomfortable with killing civilians.  In the minds of these Arabs and Muslims, tick-marking “somewhat justified” is a way of refusing to give “victim status” or “hands clean status” to the United States.

*  *  *  *  *

In any case, even if we interpret the poll results as saying that 36% of Arabs (or the Muslim world) think that the 9/11 attacks were “somewhat justified” in the sense of the targeting and killing of civilians, in that case so what?  It is still far less than the percentage of Americans, specifically Jewish and Christian Americans, who think that that “it is sometimes justifiable to target and kill civilians.”

The percentage of Christian Americans who think “it is sometimes justifiable to target and kill civilians” is a whopping 58%, with an almost equal percentage of Jewish-Americans thinking the same (54%).  Indeed, Mormon-Americans came in first place, with 64% saying so, which is more than double the percentage of Arabs or Muslims in the Muslim world who thought 9/11 was “somewhat justified” (30.1%).

As for Israeli Jews, 51% of them believe “it is sometimes justifiable to target and kill civilians,” so these Israeli propagandists doth protest too much, methinks.  Indeed, even more worrisome is the fact that according to a survey conducted by Haifa University’s Center for the Study of National Security a majority of Israeli Jews support a policy of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians, with a quarter saying they would consider voting for the Kahanist party Kach, known for its vocal support of ethnic cleansing as a resolution to the conflict.

Meanwhile, nearly half of Israeli Jews (46%) support “price tag” terrorism against Palestinians, with the percentage being far higher in traditional, national-religious (Religious Zionists), and ultra-Orthodox Jews (55%, 70%, and 71% respectively).  Price tag terrorism refers to “acts carried out against Palestinians in revenge of government actions harming the settler enterprise.”  These are characterized as “pogroms meted out by fanatical settlers against defenseless Palestinians.”  Price tag terror is conducted by “Israeli soldiers and settlers” who”rampag[e] through” Palestinian villages, meting out “retributive violence.”

The vast majority of Israeli Jews (see here, here, and here) supported Operation Cast Lead in which more than a thousand Palestinian civilians were slaughtered.  Operation Cast Lead was described by the United Nations as an operation “designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population.”  This is the level of morality and humanity among Israelis.

One does not expect such polls to be included on MEMRI’s website, no doubt I’m sure due to no other reason than their “limited resources.”  Meanwhile, anti-Muslim and Zionist websites will continue to peddle statistics without any context.  Thirty-point-one percent percent seems unusually high, until one looks at the far higher percentages among Jews and Christians.

Interestingly, one of the main anti-Muslim websites featuring the Al Arabiya poll, the Infidel Blogger’s Alliance, concludes with the genocidal call to “Nuke Mecca already. Nuke e’m.”  This perfectly encapsulates the irony of throwing hissy-fits when Moozlums justify violence while at the same enjoining far more violent acts.

In part II, we’ll take a look at the other two findings of the Al Arabiya poll, namely the issue of Al-Qaeda’s culpability and whether or not it was a crime to kill Osama bin Laden.

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  • Jimmy

    If you actually look up the wikipedia entry on the UNPO you will see that it has no connection to Israel and look here’s an article on non-violent Palestinian resistance.
    http://www.unpo.org/article/10975
    Your attempt to discredit the UNPO was pathetic.

  • Jimmy

    AJ
    If you go to the URL http://www.southasiaanalysis.org it comes up, do you feel silly? Because you should. So what if that site about the Ahwazi Arabs has one or two design flaws? And I’m pretty sure it was a copy for the original statement no need for the actual names.

  • Jimmy

    AJ
    If you go to the URL http://www.southasiaanalysis.org it comes up, do you feel silly? Because you should. So what if that site about the Ahwazi Arabs has one or two design flaws? And I’m pretty sure it was a copy for the original statement no need for the actual names. If you actually look up the wikipedia entry on the UNPO you will see that it has no connection to Israel and look here’s an article on non-violent Palestinian resistance.
    http://www.unpo.org/article/10975

  • Jimmy

    test

  • Jimmy

    AJ,

    “That is the home page for the southasiaanalysis link that you posted. This page DOES NOT exist.”

    Except if you go to the URL http://www.southasiaanalysis.org it comes up, do you feel silly? Because you should.

    “it says “We the undersigned….” and then there is no undersigned. I tried IE and Google Chrome but I don’t see any undersigned. Plus the links [2],[3],[6] and [7] don’t work in the footnotes.”

    A minor design flaw; it proves nothing.

    “How come UNPO talks about the atrocities everywhere except in the territories occupied by Israel? Even though I searched from 2004 to 2011, there is not a single mention of Gaza blockade?? The organization doesn’t seem too credible.”

    Read the wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unrepresented_Nations_and_Peoples_Organization to see how you’ve embarrassed yourself. Besides look at this a UNPO article highlighting non-violent Palestinian resistance:

    http://www.unpo.org/article/10975

    “Do you have a standard for the info and their sources that you post here or are you just another frustrated-and-depressed-by-Islam-so-trying-to-malign-Islam-and-then-trying-to-propagandize loon over here like your other friends at the cyber propaganda department?”

    *Yawns.*

  • Jimmy

    Certainly its appalling to see ultra-Israel types suddenly crying crocodile tears over Turkish crimes, especially since Israeli drones have been used by Turkey to kill Kurds. But its also just as hypocritical for Turkey to climb aboard the Hamas boat while occupying an EU member and Kurdish lands; Turkish policy towards the Kurds (ie imprisoning children for peaceful protest) is easily worse than Israeli policy. And I’ve already gone over this before I’m not an ultra-zionist I support a Palestinian state.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10145351

    Its also very telling that loonwatch and other so-called anti-zionists haven’t condemned Turkish policy, in fact LW praises erdogan.

  • Jimmy

    From what I saw Lewis seemed to admire the Ottoman empire thus I assumed his genocide denial stemmed from some admiration of Ottoman interpretations of Islam, a very minor mistake. The real question is why use a genocide denier you consider to be anti-Muslim as a source?

    “What’s clear is that you think you know about Islam and the Muslim world but only make yourself look like a fool in end.”

    I’ve never claimed to be an expert but this sentence is a baseless personal smear, you have no evidence to back up your false accusation that I’m anti-Muslim. I only called you stupid only after you insulted me; there’s that old schoolyard saying about don’t dish out what you can’t take and making baseless accusations of bigotry is pretty stupid.

  • NassirH

    In other words, your claim that Bernard Lewis was an “Islamophile” was completely and absolutely made up and now you’re sputtering around with weak arguments mostly unrelated to your original claim. That happens a lot, doesn’t it?

    What’s clear is that you think you know about Islam and the Muslim world but only make yourself look like a fool in end. Funny you call others “stupid” when it has been shown time and time again that you’re the one loose with facts.

    Also funny is that fact that Lewis’ supposed denial of the Armenian Genocide is attributed to the (formerly) much warmer relations between Turkey and Israel. Now that the aforementioned has changed, pro-Israeli nutters such as yourself are relentlessly attacking Turkey. There are even articles on Zionist websites attempting to punish the Turkish economy (and concurrently ordinary people in Turkey) for the Turks’ taking issue with the murder of nine civilians.

  • Jimmy

    Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer’s awful book on the ‘Israel lobby’ is a rehash of the anti-Semitic themes of Jews controlling the US; that doesn’t exempt Israel from legit criticism but it does make Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer complete morons. John Mearsheimer has also Gilad Atzmon’s latest anti-Semitic screed the wandering who. Also why cite Lewis if you think he’s an evil Muslim hater?

    http://hurryupharry.org/2011/09/19/atzmons-literary-agents-john-mearsheimer-recommends-wandering-who/

  • Jimmy

    Wow an amazon comments that means….nothing books denying the Bosnian genocide have four stars reviews and I’m sure they claim that Diana Johnstone doesn’t deny anything. Once again you’ve only proven your own stupidity if someone denies that the Ottoman state had no policy of genocide that is the same as denying gneocide, almost every genocide denier admits that the people they are defending kill other people they just deny that it constitutes genocide. If Lewis has criticized the Ottoman empire that still doesn’t mean that his genocide denial isn’t motivated by sympathy to Turkic Islam. Even if you are correct and Lewis is an evil Muslim hater that only again proves your idiocy since you cited a genocide denier and then argued that he hates Muslims.

  • Jimmy

    NassirH,
    I’m not anti-Islam that’s a personal smear without any evidence and I’m in favor of a Palestinian state though I don’t have very much sympathy towards either side, too much whining for me you have only demonstrated your own stupidity. Kemalist Turks deny the Armenian genocide for different purposes than Lewis who denies to defend the ‘legacy’ of the Ottoman which he greatly admires while a kemalist denies it to defend the ‘legacy’ of the Turkish state and sees any admission on genocide as a stain on Turkishness.

  • NassirH

    I told you he was the loon who formerly called himself “Cassidy” (as well as Barry Lyndon, Petro, Percey, Cagliostro and so on). This delusional loon has a penchant for rejecting strong evidence out of hand (e.g. scholarly works) in favor obscure blogs and Wikipedia articles. He’s also pro-Zionist and concurrently anti-Islam, even branding professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer as anti-Semites and “Jew haters.” His immense stupidity (or ignorance) is again evident in this comment.

    “Bernard Lewis is an Armenian genocide denier who attacks anyone who thinks the Ottoman empire wasn’t a utopia; so yes he’s an Islamophile.”

    One wonders how many logical fallacies Jimmy abused to come to the conclusion that anyone who denies the Armenian genocide is an “Islamophile.” One needs only to point to all the Kemalist Turks (among others) who deny the genocide while having a disdain for Islam.

    As for Jimmy’s claim that Lewis himself denied the Armenian genocide, this reviewer on Amazon has a good response:

    “Also, Lewis has NEVER denied the genocide of Armenians by the Turks at the beginning of the last century. Quite the opposite: in his history of modern Turkey, he gives the number of slaughtered Armenians as about 1.5 million–hardly a denial. What he said in his controversial “Le Monde” interview was that there was no evidence that the massacres represented an OFFICIAL POLICY of the Turkish government. Quite a big difference. This was his assessment as an historian who has mined the documentary record; I have no reason to doubt that he is correct. Let’s drop the hysteria, shall we? The interview is available, and one is free to read it for oneself. And to say that Lewis was “convicted” in a French court without mentioning that his “punishment” was a fine of two Francs rather overstates the severity with which the quirky French legal system treated his analysis.”

    Jimmy’s second claim (that “[Bernard Lewis] attacks anyone who thinks the Ottoman empire wasn’t a utopia”) is even more interesting, since it’s a complete lie. The exact opposite in fact is true; as evidenced by, for example, his book What Went Wrong? In which Lewis relentlessly bashes the Ottomans for numerous things including, bizarrely enough, their music (as if to highlight his bias). Lewis’ fallacies are mentioned in passing in Osman’s Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire by Caroline Finkel and are criticized more thoroughly in The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization by Richard Bulliet. No doubt Jimmy would attack Bulliet and Finkel with his usual histrionics and hyperbole, as he does with everyone who contradicts his bizarre views.

  • Jim Kirk

    Glenn Greenwald, Norman Finkelstein, Noam Chomsky, Amy Goodman, Ilan Pappe, Jon Stewart, and the list goes on and on…

    Danios, this tells me so much about the origin of your views. Noam Chomsky is a pillar of the anti-American revolutionary Left. It seems you got the genocidal Bible thing from him as well. I think his discourse is entirely pernicious, especially his influence on Middle Eastern Anti-Americanism.

    I suggest you read the writings of Chomsky’s articulate critics, in particular his sins of omission. Then you might appreciate how extreme he really is.

  • Sir David ( Illuminati membership number 5:32) Warning Contains Irony

    Sorry Jimmy but you are at it again. Danios compares the treatment of Iran by the USA (Iran is the source of all evil ) to the treatment of Isreal ( Isreal is full of angels who can do no wrong ,here have another billion dollars free weapons )
    This is an argument against USA policy not an argument in favour of Iran

  • AJ

    How come Jimmy, all the links that you post lack major credibility?

    Cases in point:

    1) http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/index.html

    That is the home page for the southasiaanalysis link that you posted. This page DOES NOT exist.

    2) On this page:

    http://ahwazsolidarity.org/declaration.html

    it says “We the undersigned….” and then there is no undersigned. I tried IE and Google Chrome but I don’t see any undersigned. Plus the links [2],[3],[6] and [7] don’t work in the footnotes.

    3) How come UNPO talks about the atrocities everywhere except in the territories occupied by Israel? Even though I searched from 2004 to 2011, there is not a single mention of Gaza blockade?? The organization doesn’t seem too credible.

    What’s the matter Jimmy? Do you have a standard for the info and their sources that you post here or are you just another frustrated-and-depressed-by-Islam-so-trying-to-malign-Islam-and-then-trying-to-propagandize loon over here like your other friends at the cyber propaganda department?

  • Jimmy

    I also like to bring up the Lipka Tatars since their culture debunks many anti-Muslim tropes; traditionally the Lipkas educated girls, didn’t requires veiling etc.

  • Jimmy

    Of course I am and if you bothered to actually read what I posted you will notice that mentioned the Bosnian genocide in an argument against Danios’ vile comments about 9/11. Actually medieval Russia was quite tolerant with republican traditions and people from many different ethnic backgrounds; homosexuality was tolerated Russkaya Pravda (a law which punished crimes by fines) doesn’t even list homosexuality as a crime. The Lipka Tatars enjoyed a far higher standard of living and more rights in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth than Christians in the Ottoman Empire and unlike Ottoman Christian the Lipka Tatars were never subjected to genocide, they gradually assimilated into Lithuania and Poland.

    As wikipedia notes “In November 2010, a monument to Poland’s Tatar populace was unveiled in the port city of Gdańsk at a ceremony attended by President Bronislaw Komorowski, as well as Tatar representatives from across Poland and abroad.”

    Do you think Turkey is likely to build a monument to Alevis or Christians? Of course not.

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