As commentator Charles Krauthammer recently pointed out, Obama “won’t use any words that might imply a connection between radical Islam and terrorism, which anyone over the age of nine knows is the single greatest cause of terror in the world today. This matters because you have to be clear with your own people about who the enemy is.”
Making matters worse is the fact that we like to lie to ourselves and stress repeatedly that moderation prevails in the Muslim world and that only a small band of Islamic extremists support the use of violence.
If only that were the case! But the facts most assuredly indicate otherwise.
On April 30, the Pew Research Center issued the results of a wide-ranging survey, “The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society,” which entailed more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews conducted in over 80 languages with Muslims on four continents.
Among the more chilling findings – and there are plenty – relate to the question of support for suicide bombings. It turns out that 40 percent of Palestinians, 29% of Egyptians and 15% of Jordanians say they believe suicide bombings and other attacks targeting civilians are justified to defend Islam.
At first glance this may look reassuring; a majority of those surveyed disagree.
But consider how vast the number of people supporting such attacks is: out of Egypt’s population of 82.5 million, a whopping 24 million think it is OK to strap explosives to one’s chest and detonate them in a crowd of innocent people. If even 1% of these Egyptians are willing to actually carry out such an attack, it would mean there are a potential 240,000 suicide bombers in the Nile state alone.
And the problem is not confined to the Middle East.
According to Pew, nearly 1 in 5 Malaysians, 1 in 4 Bangladeshis and 1 in 7 Pakistanis also endorse suicide attacks. That translates into 5 million Malaysians, 37 million Bangladeshis and 23 million Pakistanis who see nothing wrong with suicide bombings.