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New Poll on American Muslims Is Grounded in Bias, Riddled with Flaws

This is particularly important highlight:

Sixty-percent of respondents agreed that “shariah as interpreted by Islamic authorities is compatible with the U.S. Constitution, including freedom of speech and other rights,” and 51% chose this definition of jihad: “Muslims’ peaceful, personal struggle to be more religious.” These rare but helpful nuances are not even alluded to … in conservative outlets like Fox News. Bill O’Reilly also makes exaggerations that the already-flawed data doesn’t support. “Fifty-one percent [of Muslims] say sharia law should be the reigning law,” he said. But that language is nowhere in the survey data he’s likely referencing, which says that “a majority (51%) agreed that ‘Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.’”

June 26, 2015  By: 

On Wednesday, the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a Washington, D.C. think tank run by former Reagan official Frank Gaffney released a survey of 600 Muslims living in the United States. Its takeaway, captured in a headline on the CSP website, is this: “Poll of US Muslims Reveals Ominous Levels of Support For Islamic Supremacists’ Doctrine of Shariah, Jihad.”

The poll gained quick traction online and in the media. On the evening of its release, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly also lent credence to its findings and cast doubt upon American Muslims’ loyalty to their country.

Among the poll’s findings are:

  • “A majority (51%) agreed that ‘Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.’”
  • “Nearly a quarter of the Muslims polled believed that, ‘It is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed.’”
  • “Nearly one-fifth of Muslim respondents said that the use of violence in the United States is justified in order to make shariah the law of the land in this country.”

But this survey should not be taken seriously. It comes from an organization with a history of producing dubious claims and “studies” about the threat of shariah, and was administered using an unreliable methodology. Its proponents seize upon its shoddy findings, exaggerating and misrepresenting them to American audiences, and falsely claim that the survey data represents the views of Muslims nationwide.

Here are the details.

CSP’s History of Baseless Fearmongering

In recent years, many groups have raised questions about the objectivity and intentions of Frank Gaffney. His tendency to posit conspiracies about Barack Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood is well documented, and has earned him sharp critique across the political spectrum. The Center for American Progress labels him a “misinformation expert,” while the Conservative Political Action Committee banned him from their 2011 conference for peddling false accusations about GOP connections to Muslim extremists. It was his organization, CSP, that was behind the unfounded rumor that Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, Huma Abedin, was linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, and once floated the false idea that General David Petraeus had “submitted” to shariah.

Since the early 2000s, CSP has generated dozens of occasional papers, blogs, and reports that fixate on shariah or other allegedly nefarious topics related to Islam. Often, they are loosely sourced or entirely unsubstantiated, relying instead on a furtive web of connections or, in one case, a 24-year-old document written by a lone Muslim activist that has since been roundly discredited.

False Statistics and False Claims

Both Gaffney and O’Reilly claim that the poll’s findings are representative of nationwide Muslim public opinion. But this assertion is untrue.

CSP’s survey was an non-probability based, opt-in online survey, administered by the conservative group, the Polling Company/Woman Trend, a small Washington-based agency that has collaborated with CSP on other occasions to produce surveys about Islam and Muslims. (We learned this after reaching out to the Polling Company to get more details about their methodology, which wasn’t released to the public when Gaffney began promoting the survey’s findings.)

According to the body that sets ethical standards for polling, the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), opt-in surveys cannot be considered representative of the intended population, in this case Muslims. The AAPOR says that in these cases, “the pollster has no idea who is responding to the question” and that these kind of “polls do not have such a ‘grounded statistical tie’ to the population.”

So when O’Reilly and guest Zuhdi Jasser pointed to this survey and made claims about what “25% of three million, which is hundreds of thousands of Muslims” believe, it’s not only a misleading statement—it’s outright false.

This survey does not represent the views of American Muslims. It only represents the views of the 600 Muslims that it polled.

Loaded Questions and Answers

Another problem with this poll is the way that questions and answers are phrased. Often, they are not neutral but are imbued with assumptions, and replicate, in an interrogative form, statements that Gaffney and CSP have declared as fact for years. In one question, respondents are asked: “Do you believe the Muslim Brotherhood in America accurately represents your views?” Packed into this question is the assertion that the Brotherhood indeed exists in the United States — something that Gaffney has long propagated. Those who answer “yes” confirm his suspicions, while those who answer “no” acknowledge nonetheless that the group is present here. They’re put into a lose-lose situation.

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  • Drifter

    for random sampling 600 is a good number if the sampling was done without any bias. But like you said its opt-in online survey and well I also doubt every one who gave answers were muslims to begin with

  • moraka

    Why to retards like you keep expecting that the sane and intelligent people on LW are going to fall for your lies? You do realize that people on this site have a brain.

  • Drifter

    I for obvious reasons can never take it seriously when i hear these in a row Fox+Bill O Rilley+ Izlam/Moselems….. throw in Judge Jenine.

  • downwithpants

    Lol it was on the ISIS website

  • Solid Snake

    It only shows that the people conducting the survey are not interested in accurate results, opt-in surveys, especially online, are very unreliable. It ensures that the only data you get is regarding those who go to that site, just as you said. It’s a basic elementary statistics mistake, which I think is a deliberate move.

    It doesn’t matter now though, you can expect these “results” to permenantly become part of the Islamophobia playbook, even if it is refuted or discredited every time it comes up.

    Plus, the title Emir is bestowed on only the sneakiest of sneaky sneaky Muslims or our Allies 😉

  • Yausari

    I’ve seen this spams before. You’ve compiled it into one. Way to keep fear alive eh?
    But seriously, you MUST have realize by now that you are addicted to it. Just so you know; it clouds your judgement. Seek help

  • Reynardine

    They poop in the woods. We know that.

  • Reynardine

    Me too

  • Just_Stopping_By

    600 isn’t actually a bad sample size. Polls of US elections often are about that big.

    My real question is where this opt-in online survey was placed. It’s one thing if it’s placed as an ad on a broadly available site like cnn, another if on an interfaith discussion board, something else if placed as an ad on sites for sharia courts, and something else entirely if placed at a site that attracts ISIS wannabes. I’m pretty sure you’d get rather different answers from each set of respondents.

    “Or is there a way to confirm whether a person is really a Muslim or not in an online poll?”

    Next thing you know, you’ll be saying that online titles like Emir aren’t verifiable!

  • mindy1

    Dude, eat a Snickers, you sound like a hyper Pam Geller when hungry 😛

  • downwithpants

    Oh yeah every vote is worth 1 00 000 000 in agreement. Doncha know.

  • Vicky Elm

    KABOOM! Ha. I got you there, didn’t? Now you have a Loonwatcher-suicide- bomber in your list. :)

  • Solid Snake

    Isn’t 600 people enough to make a conclusion about millions? Also, it was opt-in online survey, I can bet a few of these responses were from Islamophobes pretending to be Muslims. Or is there a way to confirm whether a person is really a Muslim or not in an online poll?

  • HerrSkolly

    Are you happy? Your post makes you sound rather uptight and frustrated. I wouldn’t call such a state “happy” at all. Chill.

  • Ilisha

    Spot on. Definitely true that *everyone* *always* gets along with *everyone* else as long as there are no Muslims involved. Muslims *never*.get along with anyone. Not even other Muslims.

    Thank goodness you *never* generalize. :-)

    Tip: Before you copy and paste verses from the Quran, along with their alleged meaning, you should take a few moments to confirm that’s what the verses actually say.

  • Lithium2006

    And then you’ll appear more as a bigot.

  • Lithium2006

    Flagged for spam.

  • ranga nath

    The Shoe Bomber was a Muslim
    The Beltway Snipers were Muslims
    The Fort Hood Shooter was a Muslim
    The underwear Bomber was a Muslim
    The U-S.S. Cole Bombers were Muslims
    The Madrid Train Bombers were Muslims
    The Bafi Nightclub Bombers were Muslims
    The London Subway Bombers were Muslims
    The Moscow Theatre Attackers were Muslims
    The Boston Marathon Bombers were Muslims
    The Pan-Am flight #93 Bombers were Muslims
    The Air France Entebbe Hijackers were Muslims
    The Iranian Embassy Takeover, was by Muslims
    The Beirut U.S. Embassy bombers were Muslims
    The Libyan U.S. Embassy Attack was by Musiims
    The Buenos Aires Suicide Bombers were Muslims
    The Israeli Olympic Team Attackers were Muslims
    The Kenyan U.S, Embassy Bombers were Muslims
    The Saudi, Khobar Towers Bombers were Muslims
    The Beirut Marine Barracks bombers were Muslims
    The Besian Russian School Attackers were Muslims
    The first World Trade Center Bombers were Muslims
    The Bombay & Mumbai India Attackers were Muslims
    The Achille Lauro Cruise Ship Hijackers were Muslims
    The September 11th 2001 Airline Hijackers were Muslims’
    Think of it:
    Buddhists living with Hindus = No Problem
    Hindus living with Christians = No Problem
    Hindus living with Jews = No Problem
    Christians living with Shintos = No Problem
    Shintos living with Confucians = No Problem
    Confusians living with Baha’is = No Problem
    Baha’is living with Jews = No Problem
    Jews living with Atheists = No Problem
    Atheists living with Buddhists = No Problem
    Buddhists living with Sikhs = No Problem
    Sikhs living with Hindus = No Problem
    Hindus living with Baha’is = No Problem
    Baha’is living with Christians = No Problem
    Christians living with Jews = No Problem
    Jews living with Buddhists = No Problem
    Buddhists living with Shintos = No Problem
    Shintos living with Atheists = No Problem
    Atheists living with Confucians = No Problem
    Confusians living with Hindus = No Problem
    Muslims living with Hindus = Problem
    Muslims living with Buddhists = Problem
    Muslims living with Christians = Problem
    Muslims living with Jews = Problem
    Muslims living with Sikhs = Problem
    Muslims living with Baha’is = Problem
    Muslims living with Shintos = Problem
    Muslims living with Atheists = Problem
    **********SO THIS LEAD TO *****************
    They’re not happy in Gaza
    They’re not happy in Egypt
    They’re not happy in Libya
    They’re not happy in Morocco
    They’re not happy in Iran
    They’re not happy in Iraq
    They’re not happy in Yemen
    They’re not happy in Afghanistan
    They’re not happy in Pakistan
    They’re not happy in Syria
    They’re not happy in Lebanon
    They’re not happy in Nigeria
    They’re not happy in Kenya
    They’re not happy in Sudan
    ******** So, where are they happy? **********
    They’re happy in Australia
    They’re happy in England
    They’re happy in Belgium
    They’re happy in France
    They’re happy in Italy
    They’re happy in Germany
    They’re happy in Sweden
    They’re happy in the USA & Canada
    They’re happy in Norway & India
    They’re happy in almost every country that is not Islamic! And who do they blame? Not Islam… Not their leadership… Not themselves… THEY BLAME THE COUNTRIES THEY ARE HAPPY IN!! And they want to change the countries they’re happy in, to be like the countries they came from where they were unhappy and finally they will be get hammered
    Palestine Liberation Front: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION
    AND A LOT MORE!!!!!!!
    Think about it…….. frown emoticon 20 signs that psychopath Muslims do:
    1] Kill any one who insults Islam or Moham-mad. (Koran.33;57-61).
    2) Kill all Muslims who leave Islam. (Koran.2;217/4;89/Bukhari.9;84-57).
    3) Koran can not be doubted. (Koran.2;1).
    4) Islam is the only acceptable religion. (Koran.3;85).
    5) Muslims must fight (jihad) to non-Muslims, even if they don’t want to. (Koran.2;216).
    6) We the non-Muslims are pigs and apes. (Koran. 2;62-65/Koran.5;59-60/Koran.7;166).
    7) We the non-Muslims cannot be friends with Muslims. (Koran.5;51).
    We the non-Muslims sworn enemies of Muslims and Islam. (Koran.4;101).
    9) We the non-Muslims can be raped as sex slave. (Koran.4;3 & 24/5;89/23;5/33;50/58;3/70;30).
    10) We the non-Muslims the vilest of creatures deserving no mercy. (Koran.98;6).
    11) Muslim must terrorized us (non-Muslims). (Koran.8;12 &59-60/ Bukhari.4;52;220).
    12) Muslims must strike terror into non-Muslims hearts. (Koran.8;60).
    13) Muslims must lie to us (non-Muslims) to strengthen and spread Islam. (Koran.3;28?16;106).
    14) Muslims are allowed to behead us (non_Muslims) (Koran.47;4).
    15) Muslims are guaranteed to go to heaven if they kill us (non-Muslims). (Koran.9;111).
    16) Marrying and divorcing pre-pubescent children is OK. (Koran.65;4).
    17) Wife beating is OK. (Koran.4;34).
    18) Raping wives is OK. (Koran.2;223).
    19) Proving rape requires 4 (four) male Muslim witnesses. (Koran.24;13).
    20) Muslims are allowed to crucify and amputate us (non-Muslims). Koran.8;12/47;4).

  • The greenmantle

    Its hard to believe I know Next week they will reveal the results of the toilet habits of the american Black Bears .

    Sir David

  • mindy1

    What the legit Muslim organizations should do is hire their own pollsters, and try to refute the dubious claims made by groups such as that.

  • mindy1

    probably 😛

  • Rajano

    I think Bill O’Reilly must have left the original text of the poll in the Falkland Islands.

  • AJ

    I would be quite wary of some think tank associated polling service asking me questions about Islam. I would expect a strong chance of manipulation and distortion. I will just skip it.

  • downwithpants

    I read up to surveyed 600….and then I made up my mind. obviously this is an adequate sample size. …

  • Yausari

    Fox news lies? By Bill O’ Riley? shocking!

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