Poll: 26% Of Young U.S. Muslims OK Bombs
One in four younger U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings to defend their religion are acceptable at least in some circumstances, though most American Muslims overwhelmingly reject the tactic and are critical of Islamic extremism and al Qaeda, a poll says.
The survey by the Pew Research Center, one of the most exhaustive ever of U.S. Muslims, revealed a community that in many ways blends comfortably into society. Its largely mainstream members express nearly as much happiness with their lives and communities as the general public does, show a broad willingness to adopt American customs, and have income and education levels similar to others in the U.S.
Even so, the survey revealed noteworthy pockets of discontent.
While nearly 80 percent of U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings of civilians to defend Islam cannot be justified, 13 percent say they can be, at least rarely.
That sentiment is strongest among those younger than 30. Two percent of them say it can often be justified, 13 percent say sometimes and 11 percent say rarely.
"It is a hair-raising number," said Radwan Masmoudi, president of the Washington-based Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, which promotes the compatibility of Islam with democracy.
[TBC: This study is particularly alarming in view of the fact that most suicide bombers come from the 30 and younger age group.]