Radical Muslims are not significantly more religious than Moderates

Charles Krauthammer makes a reference to a Gallup Poll article where various ideas were analyzed.

Radical Muslims were defined as those: 1) feeling the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were "completely justified"; and 2) having an unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion about the US. 7% of Muslims across ten countries studied were radicals.

However, the poll showed that attendance to religious services did not significantly differ between radicals and moderates. Religion was determined to be equally important in the lives of the two groups.

The radicals were generally more educated and affluent. Thus it is not a question of manipulation of ignorant masses that gives radicalism in this case.

Rather, the radicals felt that they were being dominated by or even occupied by the West. So if Americans feel threatened by radical Muslims these Muslims rather feel oppressed by Americans.

Hostile feelings were not so pronounced towards countries like Germany and France. It is thus more of an anti-Americanism than an anti-West question.

It is, of course, important to note that religiosity itself is not a factor in radicalism when trying to judge the situation at Ground Zero and the possible implication this controversy has for Swedish troops in Afghanistan. West should therefore definitely not be at war with the religion Islam. The problem is rather that people in certain locations, happening to be Muslims, have hostile feelings towards Westerners, particularly Americans.

However, particular groups as the Taliban, who cut noses of girls and stone people to death for trivialities have their own idiosyncrasies and are very sensitive to religious symbolism, like their own vindication for the erection of a mosque close to Ground Zero. The Taliban does not seem to fit the characterization of the radical group in the poll.

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