Studies in Conflict and Terrorism Volume: 31 Issue: 11 Dated: November 2008 Pages: 1024-1031
By conducting a comparison of results from a 2007 Pew poll of United States Muslims with results from the 2006-2007 START polls of Muslims in Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, and Indonesia, this article examines whether Muslims in the United States may be less susceptible to the radical opinions that provide the base of sympathy and support from which terrorists arise.
Results indicate that United States Muslims were less likely than those in the four Muslim countries of Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, and Indonesia to hold opinions that might support opposition to the War on Terrorism; however, the differences were small. The conclusion is that the margin of difference is too small to support the view that the United States is substantially safer from domestic terrorism than Muslim countries because United States Muslims are less susceptible to radical opinions. There can be little doubt that Muslims in the United States differ from Muslims in other countries in many ways, but this article focuses on public opinion issues related to the War on Terrorism. However, there have been suggestions that United States Muslims are less radicalized than European Muslims (politically better integrated and less sympathetic toward radical politics than other Muslims), thereby suggesting that the United States is protected against terrorism, relative to other countries. This article tests this “American exceptionalism” hypothesis by comparing results from a 2007 Pew poll of United States Muslims with results from the 2006-2007 START polls of Muslims in the above four countries. Tables and notes
US Dept of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528, United States
National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Reponses to Terrorism (START)
University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, United States
United States of America