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[COMMENT: Well, this will prompt some rethinking of the issues. And a rethinking of how Biblical people should deal with Islam and Muslim populations. It seems that the desire for freedom is epidemic. It would do Judeo-Christians well to sort out what Godly freedom is all about. It is NOT so-called "liberal democracy", which will always lead to centralization, if not by force and/or mind-control, then by apathy, ignorance, decadence, and depression (see "Why Students Drop Out").
NOTE: I do have a suspicion that this article may be a plant from the Muslim side, trying to get Christians, et al, to back off from rejecting Islam. Would Gallup fall for it??? I believe that George Gallup is a solid Christian, but that does not mean that his people are of the same quality.
Clearly, what Judeo-Christians must do is learn how the Gospel of Jesus Christ indeed responds to the desires all over the globe for honest freedom and government accountability. And that no other belief system can do that. Certainly not secular "liberal democracy".
We must make the point over and again, publicly and to the offending governments, that local people everywhere, those who are not "educated" out of their common sense, want honest freedom and government accountability to the people. Friends -- this is a specifically Biblical idea. It hardly exists outside of a culture which has been Biblically founded or at least influenced.
See comments below in text.
The Church of England Newspaper Friday April 18, 2008
Ground-breaking survey reveals true face of Muslims
By Toby Cohen
THE DEBATE between the Islamic world and the Christian West has dominated the politics of this millennium. But too often in Britain it is a discussion where one side does most of the talking.
The manipulation and confusion of the Islamic voice has frustrated efforts to bring about peace. However, a new opportunity for informed dialogue and diplomatic progress has emerged with the publication of a book that can claim to present most clearly the voice of the Muslim world.
Who speaks for Islam? What a billion Muslims really think, by John L Esposito and Dalia Mogahed, is based on six years of research and more than 50,000 interviews representing 1.3 billion Muslims who reside in more than 35 nations that are predominantly Muslim or have sizable Muslim populations.
Representing more than 90 per cent of the world’s Muslim community, it makes this poll the largest study of its kind.
The central finding of the book, by leading American pollsters Gallup, was that the conflict between America and Muslims is not a clash of religious beliefs or values but rather a disagreement of policy. The investigation highlighted agreements on free speech and violence in particular:
[COMMENT: Wrong. The disagreement about policy emerges out of spiritual issues, not mere pragmatism. There is a desire for freedom built into the soul of every creature of God. We are made in His image. There is a clash of religious beliefs, but the clash is not between Muslims and Christians, so much as between those who have some common sense left, and those who have been appropriately brainwashed by the Western (or other) education system. And who is in control of Western government-controlled education? The Globalists -- who have an inside track into Islam, and are using them for their own ends. Well, to be fair, they are probably both trying to use each other. We will see which tail will wag which dog... E. Fox]
“Muslims and Americans are equally likely to reject attacks on civilians as morally unjustifiable.
[COMMENT: Maybe so, but that does not explain the failure, so far, of so-called moderates to stand up firmly against the radicals. We have no reason to trust them until they are willing to risk their lives in the cause of truth and freedom. E. Fox]
“Large majorities of Muslims would guarantee free speech if it were up to them to write a new constitution and they say religious leaders should have no direct role in drafting that constitution.”
[COMMENT: The problem is not "religion", the problem is which religion. There is no such thing as a religionless society. We all have some belief system based on a sense of right and wrong, which is a spiritual matter, not a merely pragmatic matter or a secular matter. E. Fox]
Ms Mogahed, a senior analyst with the Center for Muslim Studies, said: “Both Muslims and Americans admired and criticized the same things about the West, they both approved of accountability and transparency of government, and both criticised what they saw as a breakdown of morality.”
Finding Muslims differ little on crucial opinions to Americans might not actually mean their views are acceptable to Europeans. The report found:
“Forty-two per cent of Americans want religious leaders to have a direct role in writing a constitution, while 55 per cent want them to play no role at all.
[COMMENT: This will be taken by some to mean that we have an authoritarian, right-wing religion in America. No doubt there is such. But Judeo-Christianity has been the ONLY real source of freedom in the West -- or anywhere else. Without that witness and spiritual power, our freedoms will be soon gone. E. Fox]
These numbers are almost identical to those in Iran.”
In many ways the book portrays a more disturbing picture of the attitudes of Americans.
[COMMENT: Meaning what? E. Fox]
The second “counterintuitive discovery” the introduction flags up is: “When asked to describe their dreams for the future, Muslims don’t mention fighting in a jihad, but rather getting a better job.” It certainly seems as if this book was needed.
Disturbingly, the survey excuses two of the major causes blamed for radical thinking, as it shows that radicalised Muslims, 91 million of them, are likely to be substantially better educated than moderates, and wealthier. It also finds that 37 per cent of radical Muslims and 20 per cent of moderates, “feel that the time for a better understanding between the West and the Arab/Muslim world will probably never come”. Half of radicalised Muslims, who are 7 per cent of the total population, say that willingness to sacrifice one’s life for something one believes in is completely justifiable”. 18 per cent of moderates also express this view. That’s a total of over 263 million Muslims.
[COMMENT: More evidence of the influence of the Globalists in education. They are the primary radicalizers. E. Fox]
The report also concluded that the “popular image of silent submissiveness” of Muslim women was wrong: “Majorities of women in virtually every country we surveyed say that women deserve the same legal rights as men, to vote without influence from family members, to work at any job they are qualified for, and even to serve in the highest levels of government.”
[COMMENT: Again, freedom makes sense to any person with a residue of common sense. E. Fox]
Majorities of men in virtually every country surveyed agreed women should be allowed to work at any job for which they were qualified. Majorities of men also favoured women voting in Muslims countries including Morocco (72 per cent) and Iran (87 per cent). In contrast, countries popularly considered to be more progressive, such as Jordan and Egypt only 57 per cent of both their populations believe women should have the same legal rights as men.
There was no correlation amongst Muslim men between religiosity and less egalitarian attitudes towards women. If there was, it seemed they were inversely related, as in Lebanon, Morocco and Iran religious men were found to be more supportive of women’s rights.
The only exception was Turkey, however this country is also the only exception to the rule that religiosity correlates with education.
One of the important distinctions the book underlines is the difference between Sharia and Islamic law. Sharia refers to the guiding principles of God’s example as expressed in the Qu’ran. But the Qu’ran is not a law book, and it is wrong to refer to Sharia as law. This may help explain the confusion felt in Britain when Muslims speak of their desire for a democratic state based on Sharia.
On whether the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, was right to suggest that the incorporation of Sharia in to British law was ‘inevitable’, Ms Mogahed demurs, saying: “What I believe we need to do is start an open dialogue about religion and its role in British law — not focussing on Sharia or creating another system of courts, but an open dialogue about what can allow everyone to feel like a full citizen.
“Dialogue is more important than a change in law at this time.” Ms Mogahed finds that the majority of Muslims support Christians. She said: “Muslims living in London were 10 times more likely to have a positive response to ‘fundamentalist Christians’ than a negative one.”
[COMMENT: There is something fishy about the strong drift of the authors toward pacifying everything. There is a real conflict, and it needs to be clarified and faced, not papered over. E. Fox]
Who speaks for Islam? by John L Esposito and Dalia Mogahed is published by Gallup Press
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