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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Slag's Blood Pressure Update

My esteemed co-blogger Slag recently remarked on the headline to a CNN story regarding Muslims. Specifically, he appeared frustrated that a recent report about the willingness of American Muslims to engage in suicide attacks received such a provocative title. The article, among other things, observed that:


While nearly 80 percent of U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings of civilians to defend Islam can not 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.

He said most supporters of the attacks likely assumed the context was a fight against occupation — a term Muslims often use to describe the conflict with Israel.


U.S. Muslims are far less accepting of suicide attacks than Muslims in many other nations. In surveys Pew conducted last year, support in some Muslim countries exceeded 50 percent, while it was considered justifiable by about one in four Muslims in Britain and Spain, and one in three in France.


At a later news conference, [Andrew Kohut, Pew Director] he said much of that support could be attributed to age because the findings were consistent with numerous other surveys showing young people more inclined to violence and to support wars.

This largely optimistic report was titled:

Some US Muslims say suicide attacks OK

Which is, of course, literally true if more than one U.S. Muslim agrees that suicide attacks are okay.

Well, as though deliberately crafted to raise Slag's blood pressure sufficiently to make his brains explode through his ears comes this even more entertaining artlce from Fox News. That headline is, of course:

Poll: 1 in 4 U.S. Young Muslims OK With Homicide Bombings Against Civilians

Okay. Yes, that's not really what the study says. Great way to stir up the audience though. The good folks at Conservapedia sure appreciated your efforts as they helpfully mentioned the Fox News story on their main page:

I've helpfully designated the section in a red oval- click the image for a larger version.

Now, leaving aside the fact that I'm pretty sure that upwards of 90% of Christians are willing to engage in ritual cannibalism* if commanded to by god, and that I'm pretty sure that we'd get pretty similar results if we asked American Christians a comparable question about defending either the U.S. or Christianity,** can we at least all on some level agree to try to present news in a reasonable fashion?


Okay then. Well, time for the civil war*** I guess.

* Is communion as bad as suicide bombing? Of course not. Is the whole ritual STILL a little creepy when you stop and think about it? Hell yes.

** You'd have to alter the wording so as to not literally say "suicide bombing," but given that some radicals are apparently willing to kill others for their religion, I don't know that U.S. Muslims and U.S. Christians are gonna be all that different.

*** Seriously right-wing crazies: don't tell me y'all haven't been thinking about it.

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