According to a new nationwide online survey (Below) of 600 Muslims living in the United States, of those polled a significant minority embraces the supremacist notions that could pose a threat to America’s security and its constitutional form of government.*
The numbers of potential jihadists among the majority of Muslims who appear not to be sympathetic to such notions raise a number of public policy choices that warrant careful consideration and urgent debate, including: the necessity for enhanced surveillance of Muslim communities; refugee resettlement, asylum and other immigration programs that are swelling their numbers and density; and the viability of so-called “countering violent extremism” initiatives that are supposed to stymie radicalization within those communities.
Overall, the survey, which was conducted by The Polling Company for the Center for Security Policy (CSP), suggests that a substantial number of Muslims living in the United States see the country very differently than does the population overall. The sentiments of the latter were sampled in late May in another CSP-commissioned Polling Company nationwide survey.
According to the just-released survey of Muslims, a majority (51%) agreed that “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.” When that question was put to the broader U.S. population, the overwhelming majority held that shariah should not displace the U.S. Constitution (86% to 2%).
More than half (51%) of U.S. Muslims polled also believe either that they should have the choice of American or shariah courts, or that they should have their own tribunals to apply shariah. Only 39% of those polled said that Muslims in the U.S. should be subject to American courts.
These notions were powerfully rejected by the broader population according to the Center’s earlier national survey. It found by a margin of 92%-2% that Muslims should be subject to the same courts as other citizens, rather than have their own courts and tribunals here in the U.S.
Even more troubling, is the fact that 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.”
By contrast, the broader survey found that a 63% majority of those sampled said that “the freedom to engage in expression that offends Muslims or anybody else is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and cannot be restricted.”
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.
Center for Security Policy President, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., observed:
The findings of the Center for Security Policy’s survey of Muslims in America suggests that we have a serious problem. The Pew Research Center estimates that the number of Muslims in the United States was 2.75 million in 2011, and growing at a rate of 80-90 thousand a year. If those estimates are accurate, the United States would have approximately 3 million Muslims today. That would translate into roughly 300,000 Muslims living in the United States who believe that shariah is “The Muslim God Allah’s law that Muslims must follow and impose worldwide by Jihad.”It is incumbent on the many American Muslims who want neither to live under the brutal repression of shariah nor to impose it on anybody else to work with the rest of us who revere and uphold the supremacy of the U.S. Constitution in protecting our nation against the Islamic supremacists and their jihad.
STATEMENT OF METHODOLOGY
The polling company, inc./WomanTrend conducted a nationwide online study among 600 Muslim adults living in the United States (age 18+) on behalf of The Center for Security Policy on June 1-10, 2015.
The sample was drawn utilizing online opt-in panels of respondents that have previously agreed to participate in survey research. Potential survey participants were recruited using from multiple sources using a dynamic sampling platform for verification, real time profiling, and random selection based on project requirements. This multi-sourcing model increases reach and capacity, improves consistency and minimizes bias.
The methodology used for this online survey instrument is consistent with international industry standards outlined in the ESOMAR Guideline for Online Research (https://www.esomar.org/uploads/public/knowledge-and-standards/codes-and-guidelines/ESOMAR_Guideline-for-online-research.pdf).
The original survey instrument screened respondents for age, religion, gender, and region. An online sample frame was selected for this study due to the difficulty in reaching Muslim-Americans over the telephone on account of their low incidence among the nationwide U.S. population (http://pewrsr.ch/1LsdBs8/; http://bit.ly/1LsdAEA). The final questionnaire was approved by authorized representatives from The Center for Security Policy prior to fielding.
*UPDATE (December 11, 2015): The first sentence of this article has been changed from “…significant minorities embrace supremacist notions” to read “…of those polled a significant minority embraces the supremacist notions” to eliminate any ambiguity. Despite our best efforts, numerous media outlets have serially misrepresented this sentence and used it to claim that The Center holds the survey as representative of all Muslims in the United States. The Center has been consistent with claims that the results are of those individual Muslims polled and the “significant minorities” in the first sentence is a specific reference to participants of the survey we referenced immediately prior. We at the Center have consistently stood by the results of our poll and we will continue to do so.