A recent survey by the Pew Research Center polled the attitude of American Muslims. The study revealed that American Muslims generally blend comfortably into American society and also revealed that Muslims are largely mainstream with a broad willingness to adopt American customs.
The study also revealed that a minority of younger American Muslims believe that suicide bombings to defend their religion are acceptable at least in some circumstances. Specifically, the poll found that two percent of young Muslims believe that suicide bombings can often be justified while 13 percent say that suicide attacks can sometimes be justified.
The Free Muslims Coalition is concerned about the poll results which if accurate may be a consequence of years of selective moral outrage by some Muslim leaders. Over the last 20 years, some Muslim leaders have sanctioned violent action when they believed that a particular cause is just but rejected violence when they disagreed with the end. For example, suicide bombings are often justified against Israel based on Israel’s alleged wrongdoing against the Palestinians.
The Free Muslims Coalition find serious fault with those who selectively justify suicide bombings. It is immoral and counter productive to argue that suicide bombings are wrong in most instances and provide a justification when the intended target is seen as a wrongdoer.
Moreover, a system that allows for selective violence cannot be sustained. Most people who commit suicide often believe that their cause is just. This is why suicide bombers call themselves martyrs rather than suicide bombers. If societies make exceptions for the select use of violence when the target is “bad” then every group may want an exception for violence since most movements believe that their causes are just and that they are acting for the common good.
The Free Muslims Coalition seeks to use the poll as a catalyst for action among American Muslim leaders. It must be made clear that suicide bombings are wrong in all instances. Moreover, when Muslim leaders condemn suicide bombings they must mention the “I” word (Israel). This is important because many in the Muslim community are passionate about the belief that Israel is a wrongdoer. It is because of the deep emotions about Israel that Muslim leaders must specifically mention it by name when condemning suicide bombings. If Muslim leaders do not create a consistent message against suicide bombings then they will never defeat the extremist minority.
As a result of this poll, the Free Muslims Coalition will organize town hall meeting across the United States to bring this issue to the attention of Muslims.
To learn more, please visit www.Freemuslims.org.
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