The Gross National Debt

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Here's the data - You decide


You have been warned.
I am not going off on a rant today, I’m just gonna give you some information and let you decide.

DISCLAIMER: I have in the past caught some grief about my attitude toward Muslims and the religion of Islam. Again, I am not ranting on this religion. I merely am providing you some details about adherents to this religion.

My information comes from the Pew Research Center.

In one of the global surveys the question is: Is the United States religious enough?

In predominately islamic countries, the opinion was always very high that the US is NOT religious enough. Elsewhere the opinions ranged from about right to a bit too religious.

In another survey, strictly of muslims, the Pew Center asked the kinda questions we all want answered whether we admit it or not. This Link will drop the survey results to your computer as a PDF.

Being the kinda guy I am, I'm gonna hit the highlights of the report for you in this column.

Opening table graph from Page 1.
 All three groups, in case you don't know, are linked to terrorism and terrorist attacks on the US, other countries and each other. If you bother to total up the dead, these three groups have killed more muslims than they have killed people belonging to any other religious sect. Opinions in other countries are similar.
Shi'ite muslim.
Hezbollah is based in Lebanon.

NB: Shi'ite muslims in Lebanon have a 94 percent approval rating of Hezbollah while Sunni muslims have an 86 percent unfavorable rating of Hezbollah.

EXPLANATION: Shias believe that Muhammad's family and certain individuals among his descendants, who are known as infallible Imams, have special spiritual and political authority over the community and they have got this authority since God gave it to them. Sunni muslims believe in elections for spiritual leaders.

What about Hamas?

"Jordanian Muslims express
the most support – 60% have a favorable view of Hamas – while Muslims in Turkey offer the least positive ratings (9% favorable and 67% unfavorable). Opinions of Hamas are
nearly evenly split in Egypt and Lebanon.

"In most countries, views of Hamas and Hezbollah have changed little, if at all, since
2009. In Indonesia, however, more Muslims express favorable views of both groups now
than did so last year; 39% now have positive views of Hamas, compared with 32% last
Afghan woman stoned for adultry.
year, and 43% have favorable opinions of Hezbollah, compared with 29% in 2009. And
among Nigerian Muslims, favorable views of both Hamas and Hezbollah are now less
common than they were in 2009 (49% vs. 58% and 45% vs. 59%, respectively)."

But enough about the terrorist groups, eh?

"At least three-quarters of Muslims in Egypt and Pakistan say they would favor making each of the following the law in their countries: stoning people who commit adultery, whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion. Majorities of Muslims in Jordan and Nigeria also favor these harsh punishments."

"In the other predominantly muslim countries surveyed - Turkey, Lebanon and Indonesia - muslims oppose these measures."

"When it comes to the death penalty for those who leave Islam, Muslim men in Nigeria are clearly supportive (58% favor and 39% oppose), while a majority of their female counterparts (54%) are against the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion; 44% of Muslim women in Nigeria favor it. Finally, while majorities of Muslim men and women in Nigeria favor punishments like whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery, men are somewhat more likely than women to say they favor these strict measures (69% of men vs. 61% of women)."

Still think Islam is a religion of peace?

If they get their way...

 When you see that kind of information, you now understand why stories that Osama bin Laden had stores of porn in the compound where lived are important. The effort to discredit Osama, by linking him to porn use, is a powerful propaganda tool.


The role of women in Islam is a subject of considerable discussion. The Koran gives women conflicting status. In some parts, women are considered to be subjects of men and property. In other parts, women are put on equal standing with men.

The Koran is very clear that a woman may not have multiple husbands at one time, but a man may have multiple wives at one time. The Christian Bible also says the same thing.

I note you can find some fundamentalist Christian groups in the US who would mirror the segregation of genders opinions as offered by Muslims.


OK, I interject an opinion here. This one surprised me.

"In Lebanon, support for suicide bombing is especially pervasive among the Shia population – 46% say this kind of violence in defense of Islam can often or sometimes be justified, compared with 33% of Sunnis."

''Toods about such attacks seem to be shifting against the suicide bombers.


OK, another editorializing interjection. This one surprised me too, especially in the light of the above information about stoning, converting, women and so forth.

Apparently what I see as extreme (and presumably you as well) is not considered extreme to them.

Myself I see killing someone for converting to another religion as pretty freekin' extreme.

Anyway, the end of the report, if you downloaded it, contains a pretty good table summary of the study by question.

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