Islamic Terror: If you're wondering why Muslims don't speak out more against violence committed in the name of their religion, you're not alone. A new national poll finds 74% of Americans agree Muslims need to be more vocal against terror.
Even Democrats are troubled by the deafening silence from the Muslim community. Nearly two-thirds — 65% — of those surveyed say they would like to hear more public denouncing and condemning of jihadi violence from adherents of the Islamic faith, according to the latest IBD/TIPP Poll.
That compares with 80% of Republicans who also feel the Muslim community must break its collective silence, which would help allay concerns such reticence amounts to consent.
It's the first time Americans have been asked this question in a major scientific poll. The survey of almost 900 Americans was conducted Feb. 22 to March 1 to gauge national opinion following the White House's "Summit on Violent Extremism."
By large margins, the American public disagrees with President Obama's claim that Islam has nothing to do with growing terrorism and that Islamic State and other Muslim terrorists are "perverting" the teachings of Islam. "We are at war with people who have perverted Islam," Obama insisted.
A solid majority — 59% — of Americans say they disagree with the statement: "Islam has nothing to do with terrorism," while another 56% say the administration "does not have an accurate understanding of the problem."
Americans aren't as convinced as the president that "poverty" drives terrorism. "If we're serious about countering violent extremism," Obama said, "we have to get serious about confronting these economic grievances" in the Muslim world, which he calls "legitimate."
Fifty percent agree that "poverty and economic grievances are motivating terrorists across the globe," while 47% disagree, including 56% of Republicans. Almost 60% of Democrats side with the president's view that joblessness fuels terrorism.
The poll, which has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.4 percentage points, was taken before the Islamic State's top beheader, "Jihadi John," was unmasked as Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton from a well-to-do family who grew up in West London and graduated from the University of Westminster with a computer programming degree.
Several recent studies show most terrorists, in fact, are not impoverished or uneducated. The 9/11 hijacking ringleader Mohamed Atta, for example, was the son of an affluent Cairo lawyer who earned a masters degree in urban planning from a German university.
Democrats and Republicans are united in their opinion that, in the wake of the Paris cartoonist massacre, Westerners shouldn't give in to threats from Islamofascists to curb free speech in order to respect Islam and its prophet.
A whopping 73% of Americans agree that "criticism of Islam and Muhammad should be considered protected free speech," including 69% of Democrats and 76% of Republicans.
Most Americans say understanding the threat from Islamic terrorists is key to winning the war. A solid majority — 65% — agree the failure to identify "ISIS militants as Islamist extremists makes efforts to combat them more difficult and leads to more confusion," the IBD/TIPP Poll found. Even 52% of Democrats realize this.
Now if we can just convince the commander in chief.