The Pew Research Center’s report “The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society” is an impressive work, based on surveys conducted between 2008 and 2012 in 39 countries. Over 38,000 interviews were conduct- ed in over 80 languages. It examines the social and political views of Muslims worldwide, asking the respondents whether they believe that sharia (traditional Islamic law) should apply only to Muslims, if they support religious freedom, and whether they support violence against civilians.
A majority of those surveyed in Africa, the Middle East and Asia wanted to see sharia made the law of the land. (In Afghanistan and Pakistan, these numbers were respectively 99% and 84%). While American Muslims were less likely to sup- port violence against civilians in the name of Islam, 40% in both Afghanistan and in the Palestinian territories did support this.
Andrew McCarthy, author of The Grand Jihad, finds the report’s results “depressing” but not surprising, “despite Pew’s best efforts to make things seem better than they are.” He notes, for example, that some two-thirds of Muslims in the Middle East support death for apostates, and a third support suicide bombings. In a recent article, McCarthy writes: “To keep telling people, as the media does, that sharia is nothing to be concerned about because it is just an airy, aspirational, personal moral compass is dangerously irresponsible.”
The report doesn’t cover countries where Christians are forced to leave in growing numbers. In Syria, for example, entire towns and regions that were Christian for centuries before Islam have been evacuated.
In 2003, Iraq’s Christian population was one million; now it’s less than 400,000. In Egypt, some 100,000 Christian Copts have fled their homeland since the “Arab Spring.” In Mali, some 200,000 Christians have fled after an Islamic takeover in 2012. In the Ivory Coast, Christians have literally been crucified. The problem is Islamism, a word which has come to replace the term “Islamic fundamentalism.” Author Raymond Ibrahim writes: “Millions of Christians are being displaced from one end of the Islamic world to the other. We are reliving the true history of how the Islamic world, much of which prior to the Islamic conquests was almost entirely Christian, came into being.”