Gallup Poll: 30% of U.S. Christians Approve of Killing Civilians; Muslims and Atheists Most Likely to Reject Violence
A Gallup poll conducted to gauge religious and non-religious attitudes toward violence a decade after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States has found that Muslims and atheists are most likely to reject violence.
According to The Raw Story, the Gallup survey of 2,482 Americans found that 78% of Muslims believe that violence resulting in the death of civilians is never justified. Some 56% of atheists, 39% of Catholics and 38% of Protestants agreed.
When asked if it was okay for “an individual person or a small group of persons to target and kill civilians,” 89% of Muslims, 76% of atheists and 71% of Protestants and Catholics answered “no.” To put it another way, nearly 30% of Christians surveyed believe it is acceptable to target and kill civilians.
Perhaps these shocking numbers reflect a country numbed by nearly ten years of constant slaughter of innocent civilians committed– purposely or not– by our nation’s armed forces as America wages war against terrorists (and freedom fighters) in Muslim countries. Tens of thousands of men, women and children have been killed by American bombs and bullets in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere; such deaths are so routine that the mainstream U.S. media barely covers them at all.
Americans rationalize such slaughter with the lame excuse that the U.S. never intentionally targets civilians while ignoring the glaringly obvious fact that it doesn’t make a bit of difference to the mother of an infant blown to bits by American bombs whether or not the attackers meant to kill her baby or not. Many Americans also simply just don’t care; they have “more important” things to worry about like who’s going to win the Super Bowl or “Dancing With the Stars.” Some consider all Muslims to be terrorist heathens and, therefore, “the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.” “Kill ’em all and let Allah sort ’em out” reads a T-shirt proudly worn by my fundamentalist Christian brother-in-law in Arizona, that bastion of enlightened humanism. Still others blame America’s enemies for “hiding behind civilians,” overlooking the fact that those who fight to resist American aggression only do so for the simple reason that they live there.
But back to the Gallup poll…
Fully 92% of Muslims said they did not believe any Muslim in their community sympathized with al-Qaeda. Reflecting the high level of mistrust of Muslims in the United States following 9/11, only 63% of Catholics and 56% of Protestants responded similarly about their Muslims neighbors.
The poll also found that 80% of American Muslims approve of President Barack Obama. I can just see some Tea Partier reading this and muttering “Duh, that’s because he’s one of them!”
Islamophobia remains very much a problem in the United States. According to The Raw Story, an August, 2010 Pew survey found that only 30% of Americans had a favorable view of Muslims. More than half– 54%– of all Republicans and 27% of Democrats held unfavorable views of their fellow Americans if those Americans called their god ‘Allah.’
Tagged 9/11, al-Qaeda, american attitudes toward civilian casualties, american attitudes toward islam, atheists, catholics, distrust of muslims, Gallup Poll, Islamophobia, muslim-american approval of president obama, muslim-american support for al-qaeda, muslim-americans, muslims most likely to reject violence, protestants, religious attitudes toward violence, War on Terror