Both the figures of the new Pew Research Center poll of Muslims in America, and the poll itself, far understate the problem.
As to the figures. It should be obvious, both by study of Islamic doctrines and by observation that Islam is a belief-system in which deception has always played a major role. There is, for example, “taqiyya,” a doctrine that originates in Shi’a Islam. It is religiously-sanctioned dissimulation, originally made necessary because of Sunni persecution and murder of Shi’a, who felt they needed justification for lying about both the nature of their faith, and their belief in it. Like the related “Kitman” (mental reservation), it is also widely practiced by Sunnis.
Indeed, Muhammad, the central figure in Islam, famously said that “war is deception.” This matters, for Muhammad is the Model of Perfect Conduct, uswa hasana, the Perfect Man To Be Emulated and Followed in All Things, al-insan al-kamil. His every word, his every deed, is pored over, as conveyed in the stories known as the Hadith, or traditions. Every detail of his life as preserved in the canonical biography, the Sira, is pored over as a guide — a guide both to the full meaning of the Qur’an (both Hadith and Sira offering a kind of gloss), and for the submissive Believer’s own conduct.
Now if one lives in an Infidel land, and if one is keenly aware of the growing knowledge about and consequent alarm about Islam, then one is very likely, for obvious purposes, to simply not respond with the truth. The most obvious purpose will be to shore up the position of Muslims in this country. This is necessary because that alarm about Islam is growing, despite the practiced efforts of the government and of so much of the media, to downplay it and divert attention from it. Just look at how, online, the media presents the results of this disturbing study. Just look at the misleading headlines it offers all those who just read and run.
So some respondents will lie, while others are so contemptuous of the Infidels that they see no need to lie. That is the difference between the most forthright Muslims, indifferent to the Infidels, and the vast army of apologists who try to divert or distract attention, or play at Taqiyya-and-Tu-Quoque. And even straighter-talking than these forthright Muslims are the apostates from Islam, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ali Sina and Ibn Warraq and Wafa Sultan, who know perfectly well what Islam inculcates, and what, outside of the mosque and the madrasa, suffuses Islamic societies as part of the atmospherics of Islam.
Those who answered “Don’t Know” or refused to answer should be taken not at face value, but as knowing perfectly well and not answering the question because they did not wish to be toted up in this exercise in a way that would harm the “image of Islam.” And one would be a fool not to think that some, and perhaps a great many (I think very many) of those who claimed they did not support terrorism, were being completely forthright. Many no doubt used some weaselly bit of “mental reservation” to be able to claim they were against it if it was directed at “innocents” — remember, the Muslim definition of “innocents” does not coincide with the definition that Infidels subscribe to — non-combatants, especially women and children and the aged — as the views, on record, of Al-Qaradawa and the Sheik Al-Azhar, among others, make clear.
Furthermore, the opinion poll was constructed so as to leave out certain key questions. Why was there no question on the desirability of working to impose the Shari’a? That would demonstrate the contradiction between Muslim desires and the continued existence of the legal and political institutions of this country, institutions built entirely by non-Muslims and reflecting entirely a view of the individual, and indeed of the world, that is flatly contradicted by the letter, and spirit, of Islam. Think of the Muslim view of freedom of conscience, of freedom of speech, of the very idea of respecting and upholding the rights of individuals. These are seen as opposed, in Islam, to the collective or umma, which is the only thing that matters. And it matters only so that it might support the spread of Islam and Islam’s necessary dominance, everywhere.
Why was there no question about the desirability of resurrecting a worldwide caliphate to which all Muslims could adhere, whether or not they lived in the domains controlled, for now, by that caliphate?
It is obvious that the poll was unsatisfactory in one sense. It greatly understates the problem. Its methodology is naive.
But in another sense, it is satisfactory. It shows the existence of a serious problem, despite the ways in which the questions were posed. (Also, Muslims themselves in many cases were responsible for compiling the questions and then collecting answers.) It is a peculiar poll, asking questions of people who are keenly aware of the prescription, by the greatest faith-figure in their life, that “war is deception,” and keenly aware that, again according to the tenets of Islam, there exists a permanent state of war, though not necessarily of active warfare, between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb, the Lands Controlled by Muslims and the Lands (for now) Controlled by the Infidels. It is peculiar to expect fully honest answers from those who consider that, for now, they have been allowed to settle deep within the Lands of the Infidels, and should do everything possible to assure the circumambient Infidels that everything is fine, that they have nothing to worry about, and that their Muslim neighbors and colleagues are absolutely true-blue believers in American institutions — when, in fact, if they are Believers in Islam, they cannot conceivably offer loyalty either to Infidel nation-states, or to Infidels, no matter how charmingly and plausibly they behave, as necessity, “darura,” dictates. For now.