Deb: you asked some very good yet complicated questions. (Or I am making them more complicated than you intended.) I will answer them in reverse order. Now, I am no statistician; and for that matter I would not believe any statistics (I would have to ask of any such report: Who collected them? Who were interviewed? How honest were the interviewees? How leading were the questions? What was the compiler’s agenda? What was the answerer’s agenda?)
I will also say upfront that if one wants good or positive news, he or she should stop reading right now and find someplace else to be.
The somewhat positive aspect of the situation under observation — that is, Muslims in America and their sympathies regarding terrorism and America — is that by far the vast majority of Muslims in America, however they may be integrated, would not contribute to an active act of violence for Islamist purposes (that is, a terrorist act) on American soil. Most simply are too busy making a living to be able to devote the amount of time, attention, and finances necessary to support such an action. Furthermore, an act on American soil is too close for comfort: there are plenty of reasons why such an act would be ultimately disadvantageous for Muslims. Some reasons include persecution of Muslims, death of Muslims in such an attack, loss of livelihood for Muslims (whether loss of customers, businesses, et cetera), and the possibility of Islam (and Muslims) being marginalized by the greater population. And, even though it is an infidel land, America is still their home, the place wherein they live and thrive.
And, certainly, some of them would not contribute to such an effort because of their opposition to terrorism.
The greater image, though, is not encouraging. Because of staunch opposition to American foreign policy (under which I will lump not only support for Israel but also various armed operations throughout the world) *and* the belief that there is a crusade (that is, a Christian holy war) against Islam, jihad (that is, holy war by Muslims) is seen as not only permissable against American interests abroad, American entities abroad, and American personnel abroad, but even necessary.
And, here, my beloved friends, is where we get into trouble. Muslims support such jihadi efforts with their mouths and with their pockets. They spread the above memes first to other Muslims and then to sympathetic non-Muslims. And they donate to jihadi organizations which operate overseas. Some of these organizations present themselves as such (for example, fundraisers for Fatah and Hamas and Hizbullah) while some camoflouge themselves as supposed charities for Palestine or Lebanon or Muslims, diverting their funds to terrorist/jihadi groups. (What may complicate this situation is that some jihadi organizations also run what we would consider to be charitable institutions, such as hospitals and schools: some of the money donated goes to terrorism, some may go to these supposedly charities; but even these charitable institutions support jihad/terrorism.)
Recall that I said above “American entities”. This not only includes American companies and other enterprises but also includes those people whom Muslims view as “puppets” for the American regime. These are also viable targets; and their acts, even if they are in the interest of their state, are always considered as part of America’s anti-Islamic machinations. And so, for example, some view Pakistan’s President General Musharraf’s attack against The Red Mosque in Islamabad as an unprovoked attack on an innocent Muslim house of worship and girls’ school, said attack being under the orders of America and as part of the greater assault on Islam. (The facts of the situation are either ignored or viewed as fabrications, as inconvenient as they are to their aforementioned explanations.)
What is important to realize is that what we would call “moderate Muslims” — those Muslims who support democracy, civil rights, equality under the law, separation of Church (so to speak) and State, strong condemnation of terrorism — are seen as “ignorant Muslims” by many Muslims. This is so because it is assumed that if the Muslim in question knew more about Islam, he would realize that his opinions go against Islamic beliefs and mandates. So, either he is ignorant of Islam or he is an agent of anti-Islamic entities who is attempting to infiltrate the Muslim community and lead otherwise good Muslims away from Islam into the arms of anti-Islamic philosophies, with the aim of thereby weakening Islam. All for money, of course.
Which reminds me: under no circumstance should we underestimate the immensely strong hold that conspiracy theories have on Muslims. It has been my observation that the opposite of Occam’s Razor holds true amongst Muslims: rather than the simplest explanation being true (such as: Islamist Arab Muslim terrorists hijacked passenger planes and flew them unto various buildings, which destroyed said buildings), the most difficult and convoluted explanation is true (such as: the events were masterminded by the American government, Jews, Zionists, Crusaders, and other such malicious and anti-Islamic entities to provide a causus belli against Islam; no Muslims whatsoever were involved; indeed no planes or whatnot were involved either; or: Usama bin Ladin is a puppet (literally, with strings and all) created by Americans to discredit Islam and provide justification for an unjust/illegal war against Muslims all over the world; no such person existed or exists; the image is a puppet with a beard). By the way, the last example, of Usama bin Ladin, was provided by a highly-educated and highly-regarded relative of mine. And he’s serious. What’s worse: other relatives believe him. And so the madness spreads.
From our perspective, the only worthwhile or justifiable or authentic jihad would be that against terrorists. (After all, the Qur’an says: “Killing is better than fitnah“, fitnah being defined as “unrest”. And what is terrorism if not the killing of innocent people, including a vast number of Muslims?) And many Muslims will acknowledge this. And then they will turn around and say that the true terrorists are America and its allies, that the Islamist terrorists are either fabricated (that is, efforts by anti-Islamic forces and entities to frame Muslims and Islam) or in the pay of anti-Islamic forces and entities so as to provide justification for the anti-Islamic crusade.
With such supremely frustrating twistedness of minds and thoughts — and the fact that a Muslim is more likely to believe a Muslim than a non-Muslim — I am not surprised that Muslims in America comprise a whirling mass of de facto anti-Americanism. Consider, also, that pro-American rhetoric is woefully absent in the discourse among Muslims in America. Anyone who attempts to do so is shouted down (literally and figuratively) and in any case is not believed. As convoluted as the grand paradigm of anti-Americanism among Muslims may be, there’s a coherence therein and, more importantly, it provides arguments and vistas that allow Muslims to exonerate Islam and Muslims, by either denying that Muslims are involved in terrorism or by stating that what we call terrorists are actually valiant mujahidin (“those who do jihad”).
Now, there are Muslims who have a love for America. And there are Muslims who support or value America because they are threatened by the rampant Islamism that has gripped most other Muslims. Such Muslims may be minority groups (such as Nizari Ismaili Shiites and Ahmadi Sunnis), but there is no guarantee members of such groups will be pro-American. Other pro-American Muslims are those who resent the shackles Islamism imposes on them, dictating what they should do and say and think.
And yet it is confusing. There are, for example, alcohol-drinking, prayer-rejecting Muslims, thoroughly modern, as it were, who still believe in the memes circulating in the Muslim community. And so a person’s religiosity should not be a factor in determining how pro- or anti-American one may be. I think the key element is how closely one identifies with the greater Muslim community (however one may define it). That this might be so makes sense: those who identify with the Muslim community and who consider themselves as a part thereof need to explain the phenomenon of Islamist terrorism and how it ought to be handled. The current memes handle all such concerns, and do it even in a way that helps the Muslims remain proud of Islam and of the Muslim community.
Many people say that the Muslim community needs to do more to demonstrate its opposition to Islamist terrorism (and, assumedly, support of the West), but before they do this, they need to realize that there is a problem. And, unfortunately, most see no problem at all. What they do see are various forces arrayed against Islam and Muslims.
Those that reject terrorism and support America and/or the West have successfully broken the mental and cognitive hold that the Muslim community, with its various memes, attempts to assert over its people. Such people think independently of the Muslim community…and this because they consider themselves separate from it. Or, that if they belong to the Muslim community, this membership does not define their entire being.
Recall that a central meme in the Muslim community is that one is first and foremost a Muslim, above all else, and that one’s allegiance to Islam and to the Muslim community must override all other allegiances and considerations. This is a very strong meme, and one that justifies, for example, deception and illegal activities, as long as they are for the glory of Islam and of the Muslim community.
As a matter of policy, I do not trust any Muslim unless he or she has demonstrated that he or she has not been captivated by the various memes by and in the Muslim community; because I know that otherwise placing trust or hope in him or her would be useless, considering how strong such memes are and, as such, how unreliable he or she may be for us (America and/or the West). (I express myself freely only online. Such frankness I do not express with living people. Although I speak the truth, I don’t need to actively get myself on a hit list.)
And I do not trust *any* Muslim or Islamic organization or entity. Too many have Islamist ties and Islamist agendas to be trusted. That said, there is one person whose charities and foundations I do trust: Abdul Sattar Eidhi. Although he is an uneducated Memon (a type of South Asian Sunni Muslim from India), he has an integrity that is very rare among Muslims. (Then again, he is a Memon, and Memons tend to stick to their own community rather than with the greater Muslim community: this means he has less to loose by knowing the truth.) For some off reason, Islamists in South Asia staunchly opposed him. *shrug* Which proves to me the depravity of Islamists and the goodness of Mr. Eidhi.
My recommendation: do not expect support from a Muslim. Although it is unlikely he or she will enroll in a “How To Detonate Yourself And Enjoy Virgins and Pearly Boys” class, he or she will most likely oppose, at some level, America and those that support America.
My parents have friends whose son was born in America. He was educated here. He is a doctor here. He has never been overseas (except for Hajj). He is clean-shaven. He wears Western clothes. The point: he hates America. When he talks about his hatred, his voice quivers with emotion. His hatred is almost palpable. This guy — roughly my age, brought up in American settings — if he hates America, what can we expect from other American-educated and even American-raised people? This threw off all my assumptions. I was shocked when I found out. (I have not met him since. And as he is not a relative, I see no obligation to speak to him or seek him out at social settings. He disgusts me.) And the other thing: he said that despite his hatred of America, his malevolence against America and Americans, he still lives here because he can make a good living. He says he regrets this situation — he would like very much to leave America — but that would not be practical. Now tell me: who are the money-greedy ones, eh?
Do not trust them. But do not engage them either. It is a waste of time. Why they adhere to their paradigm is complicated but understandable. They do not want to be confused with facts or with reality. Even if you try to convince them, they will take your points (or a datum) and twist them/it in ways you would never imagine.
These are quite sad situations, but this is how it is. At least we are enlightened enough to know reality and decide to deal with it (rather than inventing a reality), which is one reason among many why we will prevail. But we will prevail only after *a lot* of destruction on both sides, and this, I declare, because Muslims refuse to see the truth and, by that very fact (let alone the assistance they provide in other ways) embolden and encourage those who mean us harm.
That said, if you meet a Muslim who has thrown off the shackles of Muslims’ memes and paradigms, and supports America, please support him or her! The more supporters we can cultivate and keep, the better for us all. And remember that you — an American, a Westerner — may be the only one who supports him or her.
I realize this may have been a but of a rambling post. I may address this once again; but, nonetheless, I believe important points were made which should be realized, as arrogant as I may seem.