Thursday, April 14, 2011

Muslim Speaker Mike Ghouse


A Muslim Speaker, thinker, organizer and an activist committed to building cohesive societies with a belief that what is good for Muslims has got to be good for the world and vice versa to sustain peace, harmony and prosperity.

To be a Muslim is to be a peace maker, one who constantly seeks to mitigate conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence of humanity. God wants us to live in peace and harmony with his creation; Life and Matter. Over 1000 articles have been published on a range of topics in Islam and Pluralism. Insha Allah, a book outlining the Muslim vision is on the horizon.

In defense of Islam, pursuing a civil dialogue  
Over and over you hear it said: If Muslims oppose terrorism, why don't they stand up and say it?

If that has been you, Mike Ghouse ought to be your hero.

It is hard to imagine that anyone has worked harder than the Carrollton resident to demonstrate the peaceful and moderate side of Islam.

And that effort includes personally visiting Dallas' First Baptist Church last Sunday just to put a friendly face on the "evil, evil religion" that the Rev. Robert Jeffress denounced a few weeks before.

"It was wonderful," Ghouse said of the visit. "We were so warmly received."
He hopes a quick chat with Jeffress will be the start of deeper discussion about Islam and the importance of respect between religions.

"I want to have a dialogue with him, not to say he is wrong but to share another point of view," Ghouse said.

The 57-year-old Muslim was born in India and has lived in the United States for 30 years. He owns a small property management firm. But most of his day is devoted to building bridges between people of different faiths.

"It is my passion," he said in his distinctive raspy voice.

He has been a guest a dozen times on Sean Hannity's TV and radio talk shows. "I don't like the way Sean cuts me off, but I have to honor him for giving the American public a semblance of another point of view."

Ghouse said he can understand fear and criticism of Islam because he went through a time of similar feelings. As a teen, he was troubled by passages of the Quran. He called himself an atheist for a while.

But he said deeper study led him to realize the Quran had been purposely mistranslated down through history.

In the Middle Ages, European leaders commissioned a hostile Quran translation to foster warfare against Muslim invaders.

Later, Muslim leaders produced another translation to inflame Muslims against Christians and Jews.

"It was all for politics," he said.
Ghouse said he hopes to present Jeffress with a modern, faithful translation and challenge him to find evil verses.

"If he can, I will convert. I will join his church," Ghouse said. "If he can't, I will call on him to retract his statements and become a peacemaker."

Ghouse acknowledges that deep problems persist within Islam. "Three steps forward, two steps back," he said with a sigh.

And he agrees that mainstream Muslims have not done enough to counter violent images of their faith.

"That is very true," he said. "But part of it is that many Muslims have given up hope that we will ever be heard."

He said repeated denunciations of terrorism seem to fall on deaf ears.

And some efforts have backfired - like the proposed Islamic information center in New York. He said it should be hailed for furthering the moderate Muslim cause.
Instead, it has deepened hostility toward Muslims.

I have been astounded by the amount of anti-Islam propaganda that circulates via e-mail. Tons of it has come my way in the last few weeks.

One theme is that people like Mike Ghouse can't be trusted, that Islam encourages deception.

But Ghouse says actions speak louder than words. And he points to elections in Muslim nations.

More than half of Muslims live in countries with some degree of democracy. And time and time again, Islamist parties are overwhelmingly rejected in favor of secular, mainstream parties.

"The religious parties don't get more than 3 percent of the vote," Ghouse said.
Polls show deep mistrust of Muslims. "But the most important question in those surveys is: 'Do you know anything about Islam?' " Ghouse said. "Most people say no."
What keeps him going is faith in Americans, he said.

"The majority of Americans, if they know the truth, they will change their minds."
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Mike Ghouse is a speaker, writer, thinker, futurist and an activist of Pluralism, Islam, India and Civil Societies passionately offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day.

He is a commentator at Fox News on the Hannity show, nationally syndicated Radio shows along with Dallas TV, Print and Radio networks and occasional interviews on NPR.  He has spoken at international forums including the Parliament of Worlds Religions in Melbourne, Middle East Peace initiative in Jerusalem, International Leadership conference in Hawaii, Washington and elsewhere.

Concerned by the divisiveness, he saw the need to bring Americans together and founded America Together Foundation committed to building a cohesive America, indeed it is in response to ACT America which is bent on pitching one American against the other.  We will be holding series of educational programs, conferences and workshops to address the issues that divide us such as Civil Right, GLBT, Quraan, Abortion, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Racial Profiling and Stereotyping.

The Annual Unity Day USA is in its 7th year now, it is a purposeful event to bring Americans together, on this Unity Day, we the people of the United States of America of every faith, race, ethnicity, culture and background will gather to express our commitment to co-existence, unity, prosperity and wellbeing of our nation.  

Thanksgiving Celebration is in its 15th year showcasing cultural diversity.

The 5th Annual Reflections on Holocaust and Genocides is to learn and to acknowledge and reflect upon the terrible things we have inflicted upon each other and commit to avert such tragedies.  Through this event non-Jewish people have consciously learned about Holocaust for the first time, it was also for the first time that people of 14 faiths came together to join in to commemorate the Holocaust that commemorated within the Jewish Community for years. They are not alone anymore in their anguish, we are all in it together with them, and it is a Muslim initiative to effect a positive change.

The programs, seminars and workshops conducted by the Foundation for Pluralism have become a part of the America Together Foundation. While the Foundation for Pluralism continues championing the idea of co-existence through respecting and accepting the otherness of other, the commitment to nurturing the pluralistic ideals embedded in Islam through the World Muslim Congress continues.

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Mike is working on two books scheduled to be released this year; The American Muslim Agenda and My Journey to Pluralism.

Mike has written over 1000 Articles on Pluralism, Islam, India, Peace & Justice and civil societies published in a wide spectrum of Newspapers and Magazines around the world.

Locally, he is a panelist at Dallas Morning News's and writes weekly on a range of issues facing the nation. Washington Post, Huffington Post and other news papers and sites regularly publish his work.  

Mike is available to speak on Pluralism, Islam, Civil Societies, and Peace & Justice at your place of worship, school, work place, seminars, workshops or conferences. His work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hearing focused on faith versus extremism

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Times Herald Staff

WASHINGTON - At a controversial Congressional hearing Thursday, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser likened "political Islam" to a disease that slowly infects vulnerable Muslims in America who become violent extremists and believes if the country is going to cure its problem of homegrown radicalization, a proper diagnosis and treatment is needed.

Jasser, a devout Muslim, medical doctor and former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, is a rare public voice of reason in the typically polarized debate surrounding Muslims and Islamic extremism. He founded the American Islamic Forum for Democracy in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks to counter the Islamists who have hijacked his religion.

Over the past four years, there has been a rise in United States citizens becoming radicalized, and arrests have followed bomb plots or shootings: In New Jersey a plot was uncovered to attack Fort Dix; in Detroit, Michigan an airline passenger had a bomb in his underwear; a car bomb was found in New York City's Times Square; at Fort Hood Army base, a military psychiatrist shot and killed 13 people; in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania "JihadJane" hatched plans to support violent jihad in Europe; in Portland, Oregon in November a man planned to bomb a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony.

Jasser told House Homeland Security Committee members that Islamic extremism grows and festers in susceptible individuals over time, such as Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist whose radicalism resulted in the Fort Hood massacre.

"He didn't become radical overnight, and if you look at his resume, it's frighteningly similar to mine," Jasser said. "But something happened to him over years."

The physician said American Muslims don't just wake up one morning as jihadists.

"Pathology creeps up over time, and just as we see in alcoholism, there are enablers," he said.

The "cancer" of radicalization of American Muslim youth occurs only in small number of mosques around the country, and counteracting this effort can only be achieved with Islamic reform toward modernity and "the separation of mosque and state," the doctor said.

He claimed many Muslim organizations in the U.S. have been allowed to define Muslim identity exclusively through religion and not by fundamental American principles. And the solution to this problem rests with Muslims.

"I'm a Muslim, and I realize it's my problem, and I need to fix it," he said. "It is a problem (only) we can solve," Jasser said. "Christians, Jews and non-Muslims cannot solve Muslim radicalization."

Republican Congressman Patrick Meehan, of Pennsylvania's Seventh District, is a member of the House committee, and heard compelling testimony Thursday from two men whose family's have personally experienced Islamist radicalization.

Melvin Bledsoe testified that his son, Carlos Bledsoe, had become radicalized at a Nashville, Tennessee mosque. Carlos, who had traveled to Yemen, was charged for the Little Rock, Arkansas shooting at a military recruiting station that killed one man and wounded another.

Abdirizak Bihi, a Somalian Muslim who lives in Minnesota, testified to being ostracized after complaining to religious leaders about his nephew and dozens of other youth who had been radicalized at a local mosque and now are in Somalia, a notorious terrorist state.

Sheriff Leroy D. Baca, of the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department, testified about Muslim outreach programs that have been successful in the city.

While some of Meehan's colleagues criticized the hearing's exclusive focus on Muslims to the exclusion of non-Muslim extremists, such as the Ku Klux Klan, he agreed with Jasser that the U.S. was experiencing an increased terrorist threat from Islamist radicals from within its own borders and less from abroad.

"This is how al-Qaeda and its affiliates have changed the nature of the threat," Meehan said in an interview Thursday.

America's anti-terrorism measures, including overseas military operations, have made it more difficult for foreigners outside the country to pull off major attacks here.

"Instead we're seeing individuals - lone wolves - operating, and we have seen more of it in just the last couple of years," he said.

At Thursday's hearing, Meehan suggested what made people uncomfortable about the hearing was the singling out one religion as the cause of terrorist violence, while the real culprit is "political Islam," which overshadows the ordinary practice of the faith that occurs peacefully across the country every day.

"It's into an area between this elephant in the room we're not supposed to be talking about: religion and jihadism," the congressman said.

When Meehan asked the doctor to define this key concept in more detail, Jasser said political Islam is a movement that wants to create a theocratic state based on Shari'ah law, which is the antithesis of America's founding principles, especially the First Amendment of the Constitution.

"But that antagonism (exists) between this country's understanding of the establishment clause, and the beauty of liberty versus political Islam, which wants to put into place Islamic states like Iran, or like the Taliban had in place or Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia," he said.

Jassar said is essential for Americans to make the distinction between the practice of his religion, and radical fringe players who have perverted his "beautiful faith."

"And until you treat this diagnosis, what's called political Islam, spiritual Islam will continue to suffer, our faith community will continue to suffer and our (national) security will continue to suffer," he said.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What to make of Rep. Peter King's hearings

Texas Faith - What to make of Rep. Peter King's hearings into Muslim American radicalization?
Sam Hodges, Dallas Morning News

Rep. Peter King, R-New York, last week held the first of a series of hearings into what he describes as Muslim American radicalization. He says he wants to do everything he can to prevent a recurrence of the 9-11 attacks. He has faced criticism from Muslims and others for singling out Islam. But at least one Muslim commentator welcomed the hearings as a chance for educating about the faith and addressing head on the fears many Americans have about it.

We asked our Texas Faith panelists for their reaction to the whole idea of King's hearings. Then we asked: Whether or not you support them, what advice would you give to make such hearings as responsible and constructive as possible?

Here's what they said
Ten panelists have shared their opinion, here is mine and all of them are at:

MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas
We should be concerned about the hearings and pray that Mr. King would be honest, sincere and fair. We hope he will not destroy the fabric of our nation and pit one American against the other.

King's hearings are reflective of sheer political desperation. The right-wing Republicans rode in with a thumping majority in mid-term elections, and now their goal is to win the Senate and the White House. These hearing are to augment that process.

They do not have an honest reason to win in 2012, so they manufacture "Sharia", "Caliphate" and other devils. They frighten the crap out of constipated men and women and guarantee them that they will defend their rights and keep the bogeymen out. In reality nothing really will change; no one gets hired or sees the prosperity. We hope that Americans will not be duped into believing there has been a win against the imaginary enemy.

I trust our systems and the moral goodness of our nation. If Mr. King takes the wrong step, the American people will not put up with it. They have turned around Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq wars; supported Roe V. Wade, civil rights, gender equality and laws against discrimination, including anti-Semitism. We will continue to guard America from anyone tearing its fabric.

Acknowledging that "some of our own" are a security threat to our nation is the right thing to do. Muslims have nothing to fear and nothing to worry about; let the man fall flat on his face if he resorts to untruths. What if he turns out to be honest and finds guys like Shehzad? Then we owe him gratitude - not just Muslims, but the whole nation.

Rightfully, Muslims do not want to legitimize this kind of singling out; neither should anyone. But given the ride the right wingers are cherishing in Oklahoma, Tennessee and elsewhere, Muslim must welcome this and take this as a God-sent opportunity for America in general and Muslims in particular to clear the mine fields.

It is our duty to keep law and order and faithfully guard the safety of every citizen. Hate is one of the many sources of disrupting peace in a society, and it is our responsibility to seek the source of such hate and work to mitigate and find lasting solutions.

If nothing else comes from the hearings, one thing is for sure. Muslims are not a monolithic lot. Four Muslims in America have welcomed the hearings: Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Dr. Akbar Ahmed, Ms. Asra Nomani and me. It is not an easy thing, but thank God Muslims have made it easy for us. The American values of democracy flow through their veins; they appreciate the freedom and value the differences, and have learned to respect the otherness of others. We thank God for this opportunity to put the doubts and nagging behind for good so we can continue to participate in and contribute towards the well-being of America, our homeland.
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Mike Ghouse is president of Americans Together and Muslims Together Foundations and is committed to building cohesive societies offering pluralistic solution on issues of the day. He will speak at your work place, place of worship or seminars and conferences on the subjects of pluralism, cohesive societies, Islam, interfaith, India and Peace; he is a speaker thinker and a writer on the topics.  His work is indexed in 4 websites and 27 Blogs at

Monday, March 14, 2011

Major Muslim Groups Condemn 'Religious McCarthyism,'

Major Muslim Groups Condemn 'Religious McCarthyism,'
Express Solidarity with CAIR

Washington, D. C. 03/13/2011:

 The American Muslim Taskforce on    Civil Rights and Elections (AMT***), a national coalition of major Muslim organizations, today repudiated Congressman Peter King's "religious McCarthyism" and expressed its "full support for and solidarity with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)." 

Commenting on the observation made by a Washington Post staff writer that "If King's hearing was about anything, it was about trying to empower a different group of Muslim leaders," AMT Chair, Dr. Agha Saeed said: "People can always tell who their real leaders are, even when Nelson Mandela is imprisoned on the charges of 'terrorism' and Chief Mangosthu Buthelezi is appointed as the chief minister of the Bantustan of KwaZulu."

AMT said in a statement:

"It is obvious that Congressman King's hearing was intended to malign CAIR. We repudiate all such attempts and stand in solidarity with CAIR.

 "We thank fellow Americans, notably Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca, Rep. Bennie Thompson, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Rep. Laura Richardson,  Rep. Al Green, Rep. John Dingell, and Rep. Danny Davis, for their courage of conviction in rejecting Congressman King's religious McCarthyism. His agenda-driven hearing was a planned assault on the U.S. Constitution that failed. 

"While the vacuity of these hearings has been summed up by the Washington Post in its headline: 'Rep Peter King's Muslim hearing: Plenty of drama, less substance,' the discriminatory nature of these hearings was highlighted by the New York Times as 'Terror Hearing Puts Lawmakers in Harsh Light.'
 "It was pointed out by several members of congress that these hearings were not based on any independent scholarly research on the subject and the witnesses did not possess any expertise to qualify their generalizations.
"Past efforts to marginalize target groups have always included a number of key elements, including seeking to replace authentic leadership with handpicked individuals, undermining legitimate major institutions and organizations, controlling agendas, promoting internal divisions, and denying access to mainstream media and government institutions.

 "While we reaffirm our opposition to all forms of individual, group and state terrorism, and while we reiterate our commitment to help keep America safe, we also want to unequivocally state that it is for Muslim Americans to decide who their leaders are. No one else -- neither the U.S. Congress nor the FBI -- has the legal or moral right to make those decisions for us."  

*** AMT is an umbrella organization that includes American Muslim Alliance (AMA), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society-Freedom (MAS-F), Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), National Association of Imams (NAIF) and United Muslims of America (UMA).
 Contact: AMT Chair Dr. Agha Saeed:

Hearings on Radical Islam Falls Short on Substance

First Day of Hearings on Radical Islam Falls Short on Substance
Written by Daniel Sayani   
Monday, 14 March 2011 13:01
The first day of congressional hearings on the radicalization of the American Islamic community (being led by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Peter T. King, R-N.Y.) proved to be one that was emotionally-charged and riddled with controversy, revealing the true attitudes and intentions of many liberal Democrats on Islamic radicalization in the United States.

The first round of hearings, entitled “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response,” exposed sharp divisions within American politics, and also demonstrated that the American Muslim community is not as monolithic on the issue as liberal Democrats portray them to be. However, an analysis of the hearings shows that they were heavy on semantics and drama, but light on substance. The high point of the hearings occurred when Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress, testified before the Homeland Security Committee. Ellison's testimony before the committee was marked by sheer emotionalism, tears (what some considered to be little more than “crocodile tears”), and references to patriotic Muslim-Americans
— an apparent attempt to shame and discredit Rep. King, who has vociferously stated that he is not judging the Islamic faith, and has repudiated the claim that all Muslims are to blame for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Ellison was an unusual witness in his own chamber, testifying about his religion in a committee hearing that examined radicalization among American Muslims. He recited the tragic story of 23-year-old Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a New York City police cadet and brave first responder who rushed to aid his fellow countrymen as the twin towers at the World Trade Center burned on September 11, 2001. Breaking into tears, Ellison decried "some people" who "tried to smear [Hamdani's] character solely because of his Islamic faith":

Some people spread false rumors and speculated that he was in league with the attackers only because he was Muslim. It was only when his remains were identified that these lies were fully exposed. Mohammed Salman Hamdani was a fellow American who gave his life for other Americans. His life should not be defined as a member of an ethnic group or a member of a religion, but as an American who gave everything for his fellow citizens.
However, Ellison’s citing the example of Hamdani’s heroism is irrelevant, given the broader context of what the hearings hope to accomplish and King’s own statements indicating that he is not seeking to demonize Islam. Further, many people, including National Review columnist Matthew Shaffer, point to objective evidence debunking Ellison’s claim that Hamdani was the victim of any religious or ethnic prejudice in the aftermath of 9/11 — demonstrating that Ellison is exploiting Hamdani’s memory for the sake of advancing a political agenda. Shaffer observed:

In fact, six weeks after the September 11 attacks — before Hamdani’s remains were identified, which Ellison implies to be the turning point of public perception — Congress signed the PATRIOT Act into law with this line included: “Many Arab Americans and Muslim Americans have acted heroically during the attacks on the United States, including Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old New Yorker of Pakistani descent, who is believed to have gone to the World Trade Center to offer rescue assistance and is now missing.” That is, Hamdani was actually singled out for particular high honors among the thousands of victims of the September 11 attacks.
Hamdani was singled out for honors by the United States’ executive and legislative branches with those lines in the PATRIOT Act that immortalized his story.
Then, he had scholarship funds named after him, was honored by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly (both of whom went barefoot to honor Muslim practice) at his funeral, and has been celebrated over and over again by the media.
The belief that Mohammed Salman Hamdani was a victim of anti-Muslim bigotry was never based in reality. It was manufactured by the Left as a rhetorical prop, exploited as a bludgeon against people who want to talk seriously about terrorism.
Ellison believes that King is wrongly implicating the broader Muslim community, and that his very coordination of the hearings is a misguided approach that will alienate the American Muslim community as a whole.

Ellison — who adheres to a collectivist mentality that falsely assumes that all individual members of a particular racial, ethnic, or religious community must sacrifice their individual personhood in favor of a collective set of talking points — makes one crucial error, however. He falsely assumes that all American Muslims are opposed to Rep. King’s efforts to investigate radical Islamist elements, which advocate violence and terror in the pursuit of a politicized Islam, as they adhere to the dangers of Salafism and Wahhabism.

In ignoring this reality, Ellison brands King as a bigot, while he himself adheres to a collectivizing condescension, which discounts the reality that many American Muslims also support the hearings. The Muslim World Congress, for example, wholeheartedly endorses the hearings, according to its president, Mike Ghouse:

As Muslim Americans, it becomes our individual and collective responsibility to participate in ensuring the safety of every American, and we welcome the hearings. We hope it will lead us to find the sources and causes of such erratic behavior, and perhaps point out areas of concerns to be addressed and find lasting solutions. We have to identify the criminals who are individually accountable for their actions, and need to punish them expediently according to the law.
In addition, M. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, declared that "paralysis" over the issue has seized the nation's leaders and urged the Muslim community to confront what he called an "exponential increase" in the number of Muslim radicals in the United States. "The U.S. has a significant problem with Muslim radicalization," affirmed Jasser, who is Muslim. "It is a problem that we can only solve."

Rep. Ellison falsely claims that he is speaking on behalf of all American Muslims, despite the fact that many Muslims disagree with his posture against the hearings. It should also be noted that King himself has a record of positive interactions with Muslims in his Long Island district, especially throughout the 1990s. He often gave speeches at the Westbury Islamic Center, hired Muslim interns and congressional staffers, and supported military intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo, a position supported by groups such as the Muslim American Policy Council.

Because King was one of the only Republicans who supported U.S. intervention in Kosovo, and  because of his work in the Balkans, the mosque presented him with an award. Many of its leaders regularly contributed to King's campaigns, often paying $500 a person to attend his fundraisers. King was even the main guest of honor on the day of greatest pride for the community: the 1993 opening of its long-awaited $3 million prayer hall, which many proudly note was built completely with locally-raised funds. For years, a picture of King cutting the ceremonial ribbon hung on the bulletin board by the mosque's entrance.

According to Habeeb Ahmed, chairman of the mosque, King would even come to weddings in the mosque and eat in the homes of mosque members, and when King’s books were released, the mosque held book signings and invited King to give speeches.

In addition to Dr. Jasser, other Muslim supporters of the congressional hearings include those who have experienced the perils of radicalization on a first-hand basis, including Abdirizak Bihi, a Somali Muslim from Minnesota who testified regarding his nephew, who was recruited into a terrorist group, a phenomenon that Bihi lamented is all too common in his community. Bihi added:

The Somali community wants to be heard. My community wants to be heard. I would ask you to look and open investigations as to what is happening in my community. We are isolated by Islamic organizations and leaders who support them."
Nonetheless, Democrats at the hearing assumed an obstructionist pose. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, declared that Muslim extremists would exploit the hearings and spin them into propaganda, while Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) evoked a more hostile response.

Lee insisted that the hearings played into the hands of terrorists and were an offense against the Constitution and religious Americans (an irony, considering her liberal voting record that is often at odds with the Constitution and Judeo-Christian religious values, such as the right-to-life and traditional morality). She also quoted herself in the third person, to the delight of her political adversaries — merely a continuation in a string of gaffes, including asserting that Vietnam is still divided, claiming that Algeria, Afghanistan, and China honor equal rights for women, and accusing constitutionalists of racism.

While Rep. King is no friend of constitutionalism (he is an advocate of gun control, labor unions, unmitigated military interventionism, Cash for Clunkers, CAFÉ standards, federal universal health coverage for children, an increased minimum wage, and was only one of four Republicans to vote against impeaching Bill Clinton), his hearings serve at least one legitimate purpose. They are an attempt to at least understand the threat of Islamist terrorism and develop a cohesive knowledge of the enemy and what motivates terrorists — an approach endorsed by experts such as Michael Scheuer and Rep. Ron Paul.

Unfortunately, however, the hearings seem to fall short on substance and continue to ignore the true nature of anti-American terror, which entails the collusion of Islamists and the global left.

Photo: Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, listens during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 10, 2011: AP Images

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Legitimizing Islamic Radicalization

Legitimizing Islamic Radicalization
Prompted by Marylou’s search for the truth.

As a civil society, we must resist the temptation to blame their family, nation and religion for the acts of the individuals, and we must not give them the cover to hide under a religious label for their evil acts.

Indeed they quote the scripture and instead of eagerly accepting them, we must open Quraan and find the truth. There is a successful experiment on the subject and it was a neglected story in the media.

In 2008, a judge in Yemen challenged the Al-Qaida inmates to find the verses in Quraan that justify their acts, he gave them three months to find, if you find it, he said  I'll join your movement or would you reject it if you don’t find it? They in fact were outraged for being duped and have become hunters for the Al-Qaida men.

Same story was repeated in Dallas, Pastor Robert Jeffress called Quraan an evil book written by a false prophet, I asked him to find three verses in Quraan that are evil and I will give up my faith and join his. He chickened out and the media did not bother to follow up with him.  Then we produced the Quraan conference in Dallas with non-Muslim clergy to evaporate the lies the right wingers had propagated. Full story and video, TV interviews at

Finding the truth is a responsibility, the society would be better off by freeing themselves from suspicion and anxieties from our hearts and finding peace within.

Mike Ghouse is the founder of America Together foundation, committed to building cohesive societies offering pluralistic solution on the issues of the day.  His work is indexed in 4 websites and 21 Blogs at

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Mike, you say below:  Phrases such as "Islamic radicalism" are oxymoron and must be avoided to uphold our civility.    What would be a your term?  I think the term "Islam" is used because they quote scripture to justify.  Perhaps you could give some clarity on this.  Thanks. Blessings, M.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mr. King’s Sound and Fury - Editorial NY Times

Editorial, New york Times

Representative Peter King demeaned the crucial issue of homeland security — and himself — building a Congressional hearing around his foolish, provocative and hurtful claims of widespread radicalization of Muslim Americans.

Domestic Terrorism Hearing Opens With Contrasting Views on Dangers (March 11, 2011) Mr. King, chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, offered not a scintilla of substantiation for his charges that more than 80 percent of American mosques are run by radicals — “an enemy living amongst us.” Nor did he offer any evidence to support his assertions that “law enforcement officials throughout the country told me they received little or — in most cases — no cooperation from Muslim leaders and imams.”

Instead the New York Republican offered fresh variations on his sound and fury — first taking care to praise the “vast majority” of Muslim Americans, then impugning their patriotism in archly demanding, “moderate leadership must emerge from the Muslim community.”

He ignored a study indicating that in a hefty 40 percent of domestic extremist plots that were thwarted, law enforcement had help from Muslims. And he completely avoided the more complex and worthy issue of threats to the nation from a wide array of homegrown militants that law enforcement officials must deal with, from neo-Nazis to wannabe jihadists.

Despite his claims of insider law enforcement knowledge, Mr. King didn’t call a single police witness to testify. The Democratic minority did, allowing Sheriff Leroy Baca of Los Angeles to tell of close cooperation from concerned Muslim Americans, who, he said, “are just as independent, just as feisty, just as concerned about safety,” as all other sensible Americans. “They certainly don’t want their homes or their mosques blown up.”

Mr. King had no large established Muslim American organizations testify. He preferred to feature two aggrieved witnesses offering anecdotal tales about radicalized relatives, as if that proved his case.

By the end of hearing, Mr. King was claiming personal courage in defying “political correctness.” There is nothing courageous about pandering or sowing hatred and fear.

The only good news is that Congressman King’s main success was how he punctured his own bloviations. This is small comfort to patriotic Muslim Americans, whom Mr. King unfortunately is promising to further bedevil at more hearings.

Hearing is good, I trust our system

Watch the #1 listed video Mark Potac

I am glad this hearing is going on.

I  trust our Systems and the moral goodness of our nation, if Mr. King takes the wrong step, the American people will not put up with it, as they have done that time and again. I trust the Americans, the moderate Americans who are a majority and have supported and turned around Vietnam War, Iraq war, abortion issues, civil rights and other issues.
I welcome the hearings, Muslims have nothing to fear and nothing to worry, let the man fall flat on his face “if” he resorts to untruths. What if he turns out to be honest and finds guys like Shehzad? Then we owe him gratitude, not just Muslims but the whole nation.

Just as we produced the Quraan conference in Dallas to evaporate the lies the right wingers had propagated, this will perhaps become the first nail in their coffin and hope they will stop pitting one American against the other to have political gains.

Solutions abound.
If nothing else comes from the hearings, one thing is for sure. Muslims are not a monolithic lot and they are no different than any of the 301 million of us. Each one of has a different thumb print, eye print, DNA, different sizes, shapes and colors, political affiliations. Let there be different faiths or no faiths as well. That is God’s universe.

Mike Ghouse

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Muslims and McCarthyism, A witch-hunt

A witch-hunt on one side, denial on the other, as the threat of home-grown terrorism rises

IS A new Joe McCarthy strutting his stuff up on Capitol Hill? You might think so, to judge by the abuse that has thundered down on the head of Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, following his decision to start hearings on “The Extent of Radicalisation in the American Muslim Community and that Community’s Response”. Even before the first one took place this week, the very idea of the hearings came under withering fire from liberal America. They were “fuel for the bigots”, said Richard Cohen, a columnist at the Washington Post. “To focus an investigative spotlight on an entire religious or ethnic community is a violation of everything America is supposed to stand for,” echoed Bob Herbert in the New York Times. “Security hearings that focus exclusively on Muslim Americans serve only to amplify the rumblings of Islamophobia that seem to become louder and crazier by the day,” concurred Eugene Robinson, another of the Post’s columnists.
It is indeed hard to find much to like in Mr King. The representative for Long Island has approached this most sensitive of subjects with the delicacy of a steamroller, plus an overactive imagination and a generous dollop of prejudice. To be clear: he may not be prejudiced against America’s Muslims (the “overwhelming majority” are “outstanding Americans”, he says) but he long ago prejudged the question his own hearings are supposed to answer, being already firmly of the view that the country’s Muslims are doing too little to counter radicalisation within their ranks. He is the author of a novel, “Vale of Tears”, in which a heroic version of his thinly disguised self busts a home-grown al-Qaeda cell at a Long Island Islamic centre. His own attitude to terrorism, though, is conveniently elastic. In the 1980s this Irish-American Catholic sympathised strongly with the Irish Republican Army, going so far as to compare Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein, the terrorist group’s political wing, to George Washington.
Beyond these objections to his person, prejudices and past, most of the available evidence suggests that Mr King’s central thesis is overblown, if not flat wrong. Muslim co-operation with the authorities is not perfect, but by most accounts—including those of Robert Mueller, the director of the FBI, and Eric Holder, the attorney-general—the community has in general worked hard to expose terrorist plots in its midst. In one prominent case last year, for instance, five men from northern Virginia who had travelled to Pakistan in search of jihad were convicted after their families tipped off the FBI. The Triangle Centre on Terrorism and Homeland Security, a research group affiliated with Duke University and the University of North Carolina, reported recently that 48 of the 120 Muslims suspected of plotting terror attacks in America since the felling of the twin towers in 2001 were turned in by fellow Muslims.
With the inflammatory Mr King planted on one side of the quarrel and pretty much all liberal opinion arrayed indignantly on the other, the hearings are expected to produce heat, not light. But it is worth noting that the liberal side has a defect of its own. Many say that Mr King’s exclusive focus on Islam is misplaced, since terrorism can arise from any group or grievance (Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995 are suddenly much cited). But this is to let political correctness obscure a troubling development that America’s terrorism experts had started to worry about well before Mr King announced his hearings. It is true that not all terrorism takes an Islamist form, but Islamist terrorism is the clear and present danger—and al-Qaeda has lately shown an unexpected ability both to recruit American Muslims and to move its battle back to American soil.
The Americanisation of al-Qaeda
Two experts on al-Qaeda, Peter Bergen and Bruce Hoffman, pointed out in a study last year that Americans have occupied some senior positions in al-Qaeda. Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaeda leader in Yemen, grew up in New Mexico. Adnan Shukrijumah, probably al-Qaeda’s director of external operations, is a Saudi-American who grew up in Brooklyn and Florida. David Headley, from Chicago and now in custody, scouted targets for the attack on Mumbai in 2008 that killed more than 160 people.
America is producing followers as well as leaders. When a bunch of Somali-Americans from the Minneapolis-St Paul area started turning up in Somalia to wage jihad, the authorities hoped that this was a one-off. But the phenomenon turned out not to be confined either to Minnesota or to Somalis. In November 2009 Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a Palestinian-American, killed 13 people at Fort Hood in Texas, and a few months later Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American, tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square in New York. “The American melting pot”, Mr Bergen and Mr Hoffman concluded, “has not provided a firewall against the radicalisation and recruitment of American citizens and residents, though it has arguably lulled us into a sense of complacency that home-grown terrorism couldn’t happen in the United States.” The White House is worried too: Barack Obama’s National Security Strategy, published last May, promised to invest in efforts to counter radicalisation at home.
The subject, in short, is a real one. It merits frank discussion, not least in Congress. But Mr King’s clumsy approach to it risks feeding the sense of beleaguerment and outrage many American Muslims have come to feel in the face of the recent scaremongering over the so-called “ground zero” mosque in New York and the Republican Party’s paranoid fantasy about Islamic sharia law taking over America by stealth. As it happens, Mr King was in the forefront of the trumped-up objections to the Manhattan mosque. What folly to let such a man chair the Homeland Security Committee of the House of Representatives.

The King hearings: Is CAIR a 'terrorist organization'?

Calling CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator is perhaps another lie by the Bush Administration, and we should reject that phrase unless they present the proof. Our judicial system is one of the best in the world where you are considered innocent until proven guilty, we cannot let go of the essence of American justice, we cannot go wrong following it. I am surprised Representative King was using it so loosely and there was no one to question it.
Thank God, Sean Hannity of Fox TV agreed that CIA and Mossad have lied to us over the years, they have cooked up information to remain in their jobs or to please President Bush. It's time to clean out the remnants of what was bad in America.

 Mike Ghouse

The King hearings: Is CAIR a 'terrorist organization'?

By Glenn Kessler

Updated 7:20 p.m.

The House Homeland Security Hearings on Islamic radicalization, chaired by Rep. Peter King, have featured a number of assertions that have lacked context or may be confusing to viewers. So we are going to take a look at some of the claims and also provide links to the studies and documents that form the basis for claims by lawmakers and witnesses.

"CAIR [The Council on American-Islamic Relations] was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the terrorist financing case involving the Holy Land Foundation. In the lead-up to this hearing, I found it shocking and sad that the mainstream media accepted CAIR's accusations as if it were a legitimate organization."
--Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.)

"Among the unindicted co-conspirators in the case was CAIR. CAIR is routinely, and I believe mistakenly, elevated in the press as the voice of mainstream American Muslims. And they have been granted access to the highest levels of government at times."
--Rep. Frank Wolf (R.-Virg.)

"My question is, sir, basically you're dealing with a terrorist organization, and I'm trying to get you to try to understand that they might be using you, sir, to implement their goals. "
--Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) to Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca

These claims lack context. CAIR is an aggressive Muslim civil liberties organization, modeled on the Anti Defamation League, that has made it a target for criticism. It was indeed named as an "unindicted co-conspirator or joint venturer" in the Holy Land Foundation case--an Islamic charity that in 2008 was convicted of funding Islamic militant groups. But CAIR was not alone in that designation; nearly 250 other organizations and individuals were also named.

The federal government said the organizations were included on the list in order to produce evidence at the trial, but the district court and a federal appeals court later ruled that it had been a mistake to make the list public.

As the appeals court summed up last year, "The court held that the Government did not argue or establish any legitimate government interest that warranted publicly identifying [one of the organizations] and 245 other individuals and entities as unindicted co-conspirators or joint venturers, and that the Government had less injurious means than those employed, such as anonymously designating the unindicted co-conspirators as 'other persons,' asking the court to file the document under seal, or disclosing the information to the defendants pursuant to a protective order."

 However, federal Judge Jorge A. Solis denied CAIR's request that its name be publicly striken from the list. He said that the government "has produced ample evidence" to establish the association of CAIR and other organizations with entities such as the Holy Land Foundation, the Islamic Association for Palestine and with the Hamas militant group. Solis acknowledged CAIR's claim that evidence produced by the government "largely predates" the official designation of these groups as terror organizations but he said the "evidence is nonetheless sufficient to show the association of these entities with HLF, IAP, and Hamas."

The appeals court, in a ruling involving another Muslim organization on the list, criticized Solis for this statement, saying it "went beyond what was relevant to any hypothetical evidentiary issue and may have obfuscated the underlying Fifth Amendment issue."

Under pressure from Wolf and other lawmakers, the FBI has distanced itself from dealings with CAIR. But as Baca pointedly noted, CAIR itself has never been charged with criminal activity. "We don't play around with criminals in my world," he told Cravaack. "If CAIR is an organization that's a, quote, 'criminal organization,' prosecute them. Hold them accountable and bring them to trial."

The repeated references to CAIR being an "unindicted co-conspirator" is one of those true facts that ultimately gives a false impression.

"According to the Congressional Research Service, there have been 43 home-grown jihadist terrorist plots and attacks since 9/11, including 22 plots or attacks since May, 2009."
--Rep. Wolf

"According to the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), utilizing information provided by respected organizations such as the Congressional Research Service, the Heritage Foundation, and Southern Poverty Law Center, there have been 77 total terror plots by domestic, non-Muslim perpetrators since 9/11. In comparison, there have been 41 total plots by both domestic and international Muslim perpetrators during the same period."
--Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)

Ellison's numbers are a bit off, or at least out of date: The report actually says 80 plots by non-Muslim perpetrators and 45 by U.S. and foreign-originated perpetrators. Wolf correctly quotes the CRS report.
The data are a little different, given when the reports were written. But they are interesting examples of how politicians can use similar data and reach different conclusions.

Wolf is emphasizing the increase in jihadist plots in recent years, while Ellison is trying to put the numbers in context, comparing the number of jihadist plots to non-jihadist terror plots.


"But there are realities we can't ignore. For instance, the Pew poll, which said that 15 percent of Muslim American men between the age of 18 and 29 could support suicide bombings. This is the segment of the community Al Qaeda is attempting to recruit."
--Rep. King

"The RAND Corporation, a highly respected research organization, released a report last year that states the following, quote: 'Given a low rate of would-be violent extremists, about 100 amongst the estimated 3 million American Muslims, suggests that the American Muslim population remains hostile to jihadist ideology and its exhortations to violence.'"
--Rep. Ellison

Again, it is a matter of context. Ellison, citing this Rand report, is trying to show how few American Muslims actually become terrorists, while King, citing the Pew survey, wants to focus on the potential sympathy for terrorism.

King neglected to mention a salient point in the Pew survey: "Absolute levels of support for Islamic extremism among Muslim Americans are quite low, especially when compared with Muslims around the world" and that "very few Muslim Americans - just one percent - say that suicide bombings against civilian targets are often justified to defend Islam." Higher percentages of acceptance for suicide bombing were found in Britain, France and Spain.

The Pew survey also found that "although many Muslims are relative newcomers to the U.S., they are highly assimilated into American society. With the exception of very recent immigrants, most report that a large proportion of their closest friends are non-Muslims.On balance, they believe that Muslims coming to the U.S. should try and adopt American customs, rather than trying to remain distinct from the larger society."

By Glenn Kessler  | March 10, 2011; 4:25 PM ET

Two Pinnochios for Peter King
By Glenn Kessler
"The only real testimony we have on it was actually from Sheikh Kabbani, who was a Muslim leader during the Clinton Administration, he testified, this is back in 1999 and 2000, before the State Department that he thought over 80 percent of the mosques in this country are controlled by radical Imams. Certainly from what I've seen and dealings I've had, that number seems accurate."

--Rep. Peter King, Jan. 24, 2011
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, plans to hold controversial hearings Thursday on Islamic radicalism. King jokes that these hearings may make him famous "for a week," but he has already become well known for an assertion he once made that "80 to 85 percent" of the mosques in the United States are controlled by radical imams.
King now dismisses the comment as inconsequential, saying in an interview that he has no idea if the estimate is correct.
"I don't think it matters that much" because, according to Islamic leaders King said he has spoken with, imams do not have as much influence among the faithful as do priests or rabbis and because a relatively small percentage of American Muslims attend mosques.
"This is not that important to me," he said, adding: "I do think there is an inordinate amount of radical influence in mosques."
King added that he believes he made this comment on his own only once, and since then has simply responded to questions when interviewers raise it, such as in the quote above, when Raymond Arroyo, a guest host on radio's "Laura Ingraham Show," brought it up.
Nevertheless, this has become one of the most recognizable quotes associated with King. It has been repeated often in news reports about the upcoming hearings, so a casual listener might think there is a basis in fact. Let's look at the roots of this figure.
The Facts
This all started with a State Department forum in early 1999 on Islamic extremism that attracted virtually no media attention. That is, until a few months later, when virtually every major Muslim organization in the United States issued a joint statement condemning the remarks by Sheikh Hisham Kabbani as "unsubstantiated allegations that could have a profoundly negative impact on ordinary American Muslims."
With the passage of 12 years, Kabbani's comments -- made more than two years before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks -- look both remarkably prescient and somewhat off the wall.
Kabbani, who practices Sufism, warned that "there are 5000 suicide bombers being trained by [Osama] bin Laden in Afghanistan who are ready to move to any part of the world and explode themselves."
But Kabbani also said that bin Laden's organization had been "able to buy more than 20 atomic nuclear heads from some of the mafia in the ex-Soviet Union, in the republics of the ex-Soviet Union, and they traded it for $30 million and 2 tons of opium." He added that they were breaking up "these atomic warheads into smaller partitions, like small chips, to be put in any suitcase."
As part of this discourse, Kabbani said that "Muslims, in general, are peace-loving and tolerant" but that 80 percent of the mosques in the United States are "being run by the extremist ideology, but not acting as a militant movement."
Kabbani offered no evidence to support this assertion and has provided little evidence since. In 2001, he told The New York Times that he had visited 114 mosques in the United States and "ninety of them were mostly exposed, and I say exposed, to extreme or radical ideology" -- through speeches, books and board members. "He said that a telltale sign of an extremist mosque was a focus on the Palestinian struggle," the Times reported.
In the interview, King said he did not rely just on Kabbani's statement but also on testimony before a Senate panel in 2003 by Stephen Schwartz, a Muslim convert who at the time was affiliated with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Schwartz has been a prominent opponent of Wahhabi Islam -- a strict sect of Islam described by some as extremist -- and he testified, "Shia and other non-Wahhabi Muslim community leaders estimate that 80 percent of American mosques -- out of a total ranging between an official estimate of 1,200 and an unofficial figure of 4-6,000 -- are under Wahhabi control."
Schwartz did not identify these community leaders, though before this appearance he had previously attributed this estimate to Kabbani's statement at the State Department. In an email, he said he "heard it from Kabbani but also heard it from the leaders of the main Shia mosques in the U.S." and that having attended services in the U.S. and other Western countries he believes "Sunni mosques in the U.S. are still, in 2011, overwhelmingly dominated by fundamentalists." He added: "Fixing a quantitative level is difficult but 75-80 percent still seems right to me."
Meanwhile, there have been efforts to actually measure the sentiment in American mosques.
University of Kentucky professor Ihsan Bagby in 2004 published a study of Detroit mosques that concluded that approximately 93 percent of mosque participants endorse both community and political involvement and more than 87 percent of mosque leaders support participation in the political process. Most were registered to vote and "because of these moderate views, mosque participants cannot be described as isolationists, rejecters of American society or extremists." (Some conservatives have noted that the study also found strong support for universal health care, affirmative action and Islamic law in Muslim-majority nations, as well as deep concern about immorality in the United States.)
King said he was unaware of the Detroit study.
The Pinocchio Test
The persistence of this "80 percent" statistic is mystifying. It is based largely on a single observation by one Muslim cleric 12 years ago, who has offered no evidence to make his claim. The one other possible source is the personal observations of Schwartz but as far as we can tell it has not been confirmed by any documented study.
The Fact Checker was inclined to award King quite a few Pinocchios before he came to the phone and essentially took it back. But he has a responsibility to clear the air and say that, in the absence of other evidence, he no longer thinks this 12-year-old "fact" has any relevance. He says that he was not planning to bring up this statistic in his hearing, but the very public platform he has Thursday morning would be a good place to clear the air.
In the quote above, King correctly noted that there was a single source and that it dates back to 1999. But then he went on to say the "number seems accurate," lending credence to the figure and giving a misleading impression that there is more to back it up.
Two Pinocchios

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Peter King hearing shows 'sharply polarized' attitudes toward Islam

Americans who are older, conservative in their religion and politics, and Republican are more likely to be wary of Muslims in this country, according to polls conducted before Rep. Peter King's hearing on 'radicalization' among American Muslims.

Samira Hussein, of Montgomery County, Md., listens to the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on 'the extent of the radicalization' of American Muslims, Thursday, March 10.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

By Brad Knickerbocker, Staff writer / March 10, 2011
Public attitudes towards American Muslims – highlighted by the House hearing this week led by Rep. Peter King (R) of New York – are deeply divided and sharply defined, according to new opinion polls.
In general, Americans who are older, conservative in their religion and politics, and Republican tend to be wary of Muslims in this country. In particular, most of those who identify with the tea party movement say they believe that Islam is more likely to promote violence than other religions.

By contrast, Americans who are younger, more liberal in their religion and politics, and Democrat, are less likely to be concerned that American Muslims are a threat to national or personal security.

The first group generally supports Representative King’s Homeland Security Committee hearing with its controversial title: “The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response.” The second group generally disagrees with King’s effort – some going as far as to liken it to a new era of McCarthyism.

A new Gallup poll finds that, when averaged together, about half of all Americans approve of hearings being held on radical Islam in the US, but that breaks down along party lines: 69 percent of Republicans and just 40 percent of Democrats support the idea of the hearings. Republicans also are much more inclined than Democrats to believe that Muslims in the US are “too extreme in their religious beliefs” (50 percent and 25 percent, respectively) and “sympathetic to the Al Qaeda terrorist organization” (38 percent and 24 percent).

Americans 'sharply polarized'

“The large partisan gulf in some of these attitudes … underscores the sharply polarized way in which Republicans and Democrats view the world today – even in their subjective characterizations of religious groups,” writes Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport in an analysis of the poll. “Less than half of Republicans believe that Muslims in the US are supportive of the United States, while a clear majority of Democrats do. And, most relevant to the current debate, while Republicans strongly support the appropriateness of the King hearings, less than half of Democrats agree.”

Another new national survey – by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press – finds the American public evenly split – 40 percent agree, 42 percent disagree – on whether “the Islamic religion is more likely than others to encourage violence.”

As with the Gallup poll, Pew finds important distinctions among those surveyed.

While 58 percent of those younger than 30 say Islam does not encourage violence more than other religions, a plurality of those 50 and older (45 percent) says it does. White, evangelical Protestants are more likely to see Islam as potentially violent (60 percent) than do mainline Protestants (42 percent) or Roman Catholics (39 percent).

Tea partyers associate Islam with violence

“Political and ideological divisions are even wider,” reports Pew. By roughly 3 to 1 (66 percent to 21 percent), conservative Republicans say Islam encourages violence more than other religions. The numbers are virtually reversed for liberal Democrats. Of those who agree with the tea party movement, two-thirds say Islam is more associated with violence.

Political inclinations aside, public worries about Muslims in the US have grown in recent years, as threats of terrorist attacks tied to radical Islam have increased and some attacks (such as the Fort Hood shootings) have succeeded.

In March 2002 – six months after the massive attacks of 9/11 – just 25 percent of those surveyed by Pew saw Islam as more likely to encourage violence while twice as many (51 percent) disagreed.
While the country was still reeling from the attacks in New York and at the Pentagon that had killed thousands, then-President Bush, as well as other political and religious leaders, stressed that Islam itself – and certainly the great majority of American Muslims – should not be blamed for terrorism.

It was a point strongly made by FBI Director Robert Mueller in his 2008 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.

Today, after nearly a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the arrest of some American Muslims charged with plotting attacks, and concerns about Muslim Brotherhood ties to political turmoil in several Arab countries, the percentage of the US public associating Islam with violence has gone from 25 percent to 40 percent.