Muslim Opinions and Demographics

I came upon this video somewhat by accident and was interested in hearing from another Muslim I had not seen or heard of before. Her name is Raheel Raza and she is associated with something called the Clarion Project – Challenging Extremism | Promoting Dialog. I must confess that I had never heard of that organization before either. In any case, she presents a brief talk on a topic that Jerry Coyne and others have mentioned. That is the significant number of Muslims who endorse many of the more disturbing attitudes and beliefs associated with Islam. While it is true that a small minority of Muslims engage in the most violent and extreme behaviors we are all becoming familiar with, there is a disturbing acceptance and tolerance for that kind of extremism that pervades large segments of the Muslim community. Calling Islam a peaceful religion seems a bit more wishful thinking than realistic. Watch the video and see what you think.

I know that our group includes lots of different opinions about how to deal with radical Islam and many fear the development of a broad hostility to anyone inside the Muslim community. Our country is certainly full of crazies who are always on the watch for the next big enemy – I’m looking at the Republican candidates – and we need to challenge their prejudices. But we also do need to come up with some ideas about how to counter the possibility that Islam harbors a large contingent of people who are in conflict with enlightenment ideas, humanistic values and tolerance for diversity. They appear to be keeping those thoughts mostly to themselves except on surveys.

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