CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 16, 2015 – In a recent poll by Huffington Post nearly 60 percent of the respondents said they were not interested or do not know whether they want to learn more about Islam.
According to the numbers acquired by Huffington, only 7 percent said they had a very favorable opinion of the religion while 14 percent claimed they saw it somewhat favorably. The poll also revealed, not surprisingly, that younger Americans are the group most likely to have positive feelings about the religion.
However, few people based their opinions upon any knowledge of Islam and/or personal relationships with Muslims, even though the bulk of those who participated had negative viewpoints.
Many of the results followed common perceptions, while others were somewhat surprising. Only one person in 10 said he had ever been to a mosque. Not an unexpected response because there would is usually no need for non-Muslims to visit a mosque and because in many places non-Muslims are forbidden to enter one. For example, only Muslims are allowed in the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Thirty-nine percent of those who were polled said they would like to learn more about Islam, but 44 percent were not interested. Seventeen percent were unsure, making 61 percent of the answers either negative or not certain.
Further breakdowns indicated that young people and Democrats were more likely to respond positively and had a desire to learn more about Islam. Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 16 percentage points in favorability of Islam and by 13 points in having a desire to learn more.
By age category, between the ages of 18 to 29, 40 percent were unfavorable in comparison to 63 percent favorable in ages between 45 and 64. Those who are older than 65 had a 58 percent favorability tally.
The poll was conceived and conducted by Antonia Blumberg as part of a series in Huffington Post called “Muslim Life in America.” Said Blumberg, “The bottom line is, too many Americans have never even (consciously) met a Muslim person. They have no context for understanding the faith outside of what’s in the news. The aim of the Muslim Life in America series is to lift up the voices and stories of Muslim Americans from all walks of life to contextualize and humanize the faith for other Americans. When you realize the incredible diversity of the Muslim American community, stereotypes just won’t make sense anymore.
Polls will become the lifeblood of journalism in the not-too-distant future as the political parties crank up their speculation machines to see who can be the first to determine the presidential candidates followed by the first media outlet to pick the winner.”
If the purpose of the Huffington Post survey was to generate enough negative numbers to prove that “Islamophobia” is rampant in the United States, then the figures could be interpreted to justify their goal. However, a purely negative set of statistics does not necessarily mean that the majority of Americans are Islamophobic. After all, if Muslims really are trying to kill you, then Islamophobia is nothing more than reality.
Furthermore, there is a large enough number of examples of actual acts of Islamic extremism and terrorism to completely refute the Huffington Post results as fictional.
The fact that Barack Obama refuses to recognize that Islamic extremism exists is not enough proof to verify Huffington’s conclusions. While Obama has convinced himself beyond any shadow of doubt that he has never been wrong about anything, and while the entire planet recognizes him as the purveyor of all wisdom by being the smartest human being in the world, the Huffington Post poll still cannot override the glaring fact that Islam is, by definition, extreme. Calling opposition to it the made-up name of “Islamophobia” will not make it any less of a reality.
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Robert Spencer, a noted expert on Islam and founder of Jihad Watch, expresses it best when he responds to Islamic apologists by saying, “They see one of the most brutal, barbaric and bloodthirsty polities in the history of the world call itself the Islamic State, and claim to represent Islam in its purity and fullness. They see all this happening and then people whining about ‘Islamophobia,’ rather than calling for genuine soul-searching and honest reform within the Muslim community.”
The negative statistics compiled by Huffington Post are not an indication of Islamophobic beliefs by the American people. Rather they are a validation that Islam in its current form is a global problem that must be challenged and reformed.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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