Warning Signs: 60% of U.S. Muslims Feared Rise of Islamic Extremism in 2011

Craig Bannister | June 22, 2016

Muslim Americans were worried about the rise of Islamic extremism - and thought the U.S. government wasn’t sincere about stopping it - as far back as 2011, an MRCTV analysis of a Pew poll from the period reveals.

Fully 60% of Muslims told Pew that they were concerned about the rising threat of Islamic extremism in August of 2011. That number jumped to about three-fourths (73%) for native-born U.S. Muslims.

One in five (21%) said they saw support for extremism taking hold in their communities.

And, while 81% said suicide bombings can never be justified, 13% said they can – meaning that about one in eight U.S. Muslims believed suicide bombings ARE justifiable.

In contrast, Muslims in other countries were much more supportive of suicide bombing:

  • 78% of Palestinian territory Muslims said suicide bombing is justified (31% said it’s “often” justified),
  • 62% of Egyptian Muslims said suicide bombing can be justified,
  • 60% of Lebanese Muslims said suicide bombings can be justified

What’s more, 41% of U.S. Muslims said that the U.S. government was not “sincere” in its efforts to combat Islamic extremism, and only 43% believed it was making a genuine effort. And about half (48%) also thought Muslim leaders weren’t doing enough to speak out against extremism.

You can’t say the warning signs weren’t there.

Pew has not updated the survey since the 2011 poll, and has not indicated it has any plans to do so. See full Pew study here.