March 09, 2006

Shocking New Poll: Americans Don't Like Being Blown Up by Islamic Terrorists

Anytime you get the Washington Post (home of the 1,300 imaginary dead at the Baghdad morgue) together with James Zogby (of the discredited military poll) you know that anything they come up with will be highly suspect.

You would hope that they'd get past the first sentence, however:

As the war in Iraq grinds into its fourth year, a growing proportion of Americans are expressing unfavorable views of Islam, and a majority now say that Muslims are disproportionately prone to violence, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The invasion of Iraq began March 20, 2003. It is currently March 9, 2006. By my count, we've been in Iraq 2 years, 354 days. "Grinding" into a fourth year? Not yet.

But on to the rest of the story:

The poll found that nearly half of Americans -- 46 percent -- have a negative view of Islam, seven percentage points higher than in the tense months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, when Muslims were often targeted for violence.

While this may seem shocking at first, upon reflection, this would seem to make sense. The terrorist attacks of September 11 cold be easily chalked up to a small subset of radicals. Events since then have consistently painted a darkening picture of Islam, with the defining moments for many still occurring for many right now. The "cartoon war" still echoes around the world, a terrorist organization is elected in Palestine, and Iran seeks nuclear weapons to annihilate Israel, with the much-vaunted "moderate" Islam still as rare and frequently seen as unicorns.

Conservative and liberal experts said Americans' attitudes about Islam are fueled in part by political statements and media reports that focus almost solely on the actions of Muslim extremists.

According to the poll, the proportion of Americans who believe that Islam helps to stoke violence against non-Muslims has more than doubled since the attacks, from 14 percent in January 2002 to 33 percent today.

Again, we are forced to focus on the acts of Muslim extremists because any other kind of Muslim in an activist, leadership position is in short supply. Perhaps Americans believe that Muslims stoke violence because Muslims fund the terrorists, Muslims detonate IEDs, Muslims behead Christian schoolgirls, and blow themselves up to murder busloads of innocent civilians. Seeing, after all... believing.

Could it possibly be that the perception of Muslim violence comes from the fact that Muslims act violently, again and again and again?

The survey also found that one in three Americans have heard prejudiced comments about Muslims lately. In a separate question, slightly more (43 percent) reported having heard negative remarks about Arabs. One in four Americans admitted to harboring prejudice toward Muslims, the same proportion that expressed some personal bias against Arabs.

Though the two groups are often linked in popular discourse, most of the world's Muslims are not of Arab descent. For example, the country with the largest Muslim population is Indonesia.

So did you here the one about the Cowboy, the Indian, and the Muslim?

We are at war with Arab terrorists that profess the Muslim religion as the basis for their war against us. I think we have the right to doubt their motives at the very least, and we certainly have a right to joke about them, though they're willing to go to war even over that. Arab Muslims have proven to be the most violent towards westerners, but that does not give non-Arab Muslims a pass. It is the religion that we have reason to suspect, not a particular race practicing it.

The rest of the article is worth a read—or not—but don't expect anything earth-shattering from it. What the Post has learned on this subject only confirms what many people figured out long ago.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 9, 2006 01:05 AM | TrackBack

In a related poll, residents of the South favored legislation that would "ban hurricanes" and another said that a majority of Mexicans thought that a wall from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico "would really suck".

Posted by: Thrill at March 9, 2006 10:04 AM

Several things. There is nothing wrong with prejudice. Only blind prejudice. Prefudice shapes the social norms of our society. Sterotypes are real and useful. It is only when they are used in an incorrect manner that they are harmful. An example of a good sterotype. I am a WASP. I do not blow up planes or harm innocent people. Thus why am I hasseled at every airport in our country and my Fourth Amendment rights distroyed? The average Arab Muslim is problably ok. But is more prone to kill innocents than me. Why is he allowed on an airplane?
Muslims as a group have not been as proactive in eliminating the extremeist from their religion as other religious groups. Until they do so, they should be condemned and suffer the same fate as the terrorist acting in their name.

Posted by: David Caskey at March 9, 2006 10:48 AM

Funny how life is when you think about the most dangerous jobs and places you have worked, and what could have caused your early demise. Was it logging in Vermont? Well, you can circle a tree as you're felling it, and not get hit. Was it working on a trawl boat off Cape Hatteras in the winter? Well, you can stay tied up at the dock if the winds are blowing a gale and the seas are high. Was it working at the World Trade Center? You can't know if somebody named Mohammed isn't about to explode a rented truck loaded with explosives in the parking garage, or fly high-jacked planes into the windows! If the Islamic community can't police themselves, we will have to do it for them!

Posted by: Tom Bosee at March 9, 2006 11:35 AM

I agree. Look at how violent christianity was for 2000 years before America finally seperated church and state. Maybe we should focus on teaching Muslims the benefits of church state seperation instead of killing them and blaming their religion. Hell christianity was behind everything from the inquisitions to witch hunts to the hollocaust, but eventually it was brought under control. Not because christianity was destoryed...but because the evil people that were using it for power were either destroyed or had that power taken away.

There is more than one way to skin a cat. If the people on the right stop just acting on the first stupid idea that pops into their heads and spend timing looking for a real solution then maybe this thing can be stoped. Israel has proven that being dick heads towards another people just creates a circles of violence... isnt America better than Israel though? America has a long history of doing things that are above the fray of BS he said she said tit for tat that has proven to be the better way.

Dont act like the muslims in trying to change them. Set an example instead. WWJD?

Posted by: Gerald Gibson at March 9, 2006 12:41 PM

Gerald, just reading your comments makes everyone dumber for their effort.

Right or wrong, Chistianity has been blamed for much violence in it's history, but violence was never part of the message of Christ. Christanity was not the reason for the Holocaust, and the mtyhical separation of church and state in America had nothing to do with the Protestant Reformation.

Islam, on the other hand, was founded by a man who activity participated in and promoted violence, and it has consistantly expanded by using the sword for 1,400 years. It is part fo the nature of Islam from the very beginning.

According to Mohammed himself, the Koran is the unchanging word of God. Reformation, therefore is to deny the existence of God. The concept of separating church and state is a concept from a modern western society, and is a concept quite alien to devout Muslims.

I'm sorry that Israle has had the temerity not to be wiped from the face of the earth, Gerald. Go away you ignorant, anti-Semetic ass.

You are no longer welcome here.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 9, 2006 01:14 PM

Gerald must be a public school teacher...
It's great that anytime you lefties want to make a moral comparison between Islam and Christianity, you trot out the Inquisition and witch burnings. The Inquisition was five hundred freakin' years ago; We haven't burned any women alive since the 17th century. The responsible churches have long since expressed their regret for these acts. Let's talk about what's relevant to the world, Mr. Gibson: Muslims are blowing stuff up, assassinating officials, taking and murdering hostages, and rioting all over the world in the name of their religion TODAY. Their clerics are not expressing regret for this violence, they are egging it on. BIG DIFFERENCE! I could leave it off there, but I'm going to go for the field goal...the greatest atrocities of the 20th century were carried out by ATHEISTIC regimes in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Mao's China, and Cambodia. Removing morality and holding up a belief that governments of flawed men, not God, are the most powerful force in the world leads to those horrors. Convenient how the Lefties can remember all the way back to 1500 but NEVER want to mention Stalin.

Posted by: Thrill at March 9, 2006 01:30 PM

Wow there's a shocker!
I am amazed by the idiocy that is the Wash Post. The fact is the violent image that many identify with islamic people did not come out of the void. The examples to empirically support this view are numerous and easy to find. Lets imagine some other group, for arguments sake, say clowns. If a group of circus clowns flew planes into buildings, blew up subways, and beheaded people etc, doesn’t it stand to reason that one would be wary of anyone with clown makeup on? That’s not stereotyping, that is just common sense.

Posted by: swamp6 at March 9, 2006 01:41 PM


My church can beat up your church...any day.

Posted by: Specter at March 9, 2006 01:59 PM

Sorry CY...there was just no other response to his nonsense....Christians and Bush are resposible for everything....Sheesh.....including the Holocaust....even more BS

Posted by: Specter at March 9, 2006 02:00 PM

We saw a big fat fruedian slip in the statement that the war in Iraq is entering its fourth year.

As much as the media has tried to separate Afghanistan from Iraq, allowing them to paint Iraq as an unnecessary and costly distraction, the slip-up is subjective proof that the Washington Post, despite what they print, privately sees Iraq as another front on the larger war on terror, which is exactly what Iraq happens to be.

We invaded Afghanistan in October of 2001... just a little over four years ago.

Posted by: Mike McGill at March 9, 2006 09:23 PM

"The invasion of Iraq began March 20, 2003. It is currently March 9, 2006. By my count, we've been in Iraq 2 years, 354 days. "Grinding" into a fourth year? Not yet."

Before you question numbers the WAPO seems to have researched quite diligently and probably with quite a few risks involved you might want to question your own count.

On March 20th the Iraq War will have completed 3 years and is then of course entering the fourth... Grinding into means just that... slowly and painfully entering.

Posted by: Math teacher at March 9, 2006 09:35 PM

Math teacher,

That's not common usage of English, and you know it. By your logic, you'd use "The war is grinding into it's first year" on D-Day, the day of the beginning of the war." While technically correct, it's misleading at best.

We've been in Iraq for not quite even three years, much less four. Two years and 354 days isn't four years. It's not even three years yet, so how could it be almost four? Three years and a day are not four years. Three years and two months isn't four years. Three years and five months isn't four years. You get up there around three years and seven or eight months, then you can start calling it four years and you won't get too much argument.

You do bring up another possibility than the one I mentioned. It's very possible the editors at the Washington Post were purposely misleading rather than just stupid.

Posted by: Mike McGill at March 9, 2006 09:57 PM

Mike McGill

"Grinding into" is a not yet completed process. So it's correct to use it a few days before the third year is completed. They didn't say "four years", they said "into its fourth year. A more neutral way of expressing it would be "heading into".

Your D-Day example is misleading. (D-Day didn't start the war btw). You can say, if you want, that with Pearl Harbor the first year of the war (at least for the U.S.) started (grinding into would be inaccurate because the process of "entering war" was already completed then).

I'm sorry but the WaPo is absolutely correct here and it's quite silly to pretend otherwise. LGF quoting this blog only makes the matter worse by saying:

"I missed it on first read, but Confederate Yankee points out that the war in Iraq is now “grinding” into its third year, not its fourth."

You may start an argument whether the "grinding into" metaphor was used a few days too early but the war is definitely NOT grinding into its third year.

Sorry, you better correct this before Daily Kos picks this up and makes fun of your counting skills.

Posted by: Math teacher at March 9, 2006 10:14 PM

Math teacher,

Umm, well, for starters, the term "D-Day" is a generic term that signifies the first day of a ground invasion, the same as H-Hour is the first hour of the same. I wasn't referring to Normandy.

Second, I don't really care what Kos thinks.

Finally, by common usage, a moment in time doesn't exist until you arrive at it. By that, "ginding into your fourth year" indicates to most everyone other than math teachers, I suppose, that we are now somewhere past the 48th month of whatever we are talking about. If you ask a kid who is about to have his third birthday how old he is, he says he is almost three, and he's right. Only a public school teacher would make the argument that he should have said "I'm grinding away at four."

Posted by: Mike McGill at March 9, 2006 10:22 PM

Math Teacher,

I agree with your points. However, I submit to you that the construct "...grinding into its fourth year" was chosen to maximize the effect of its dragging on.

They could just have easily said, "...completes its third year" or "...just under three years since beginning".

I also can't remember such an emphasis on duration of a task when I read reports on the creation of, and vote on, a constitution in about 2 1/2 years. It took longer than that(as I understand) for Germany and Japan to create and ratify theirs. Hell, even the US Constitution wasn't ratified by all 13 colonies for over three years.

Am I jaded in thinking there's a conscious attempt to "up-play" bad news. Probably. But after reading the MSM since 9/11, I have dozens of reasons why I should be. You should too.


Posted by: Stublu at March 9, 2006 10:40 PM


My point is that while it is technically true, it is misleading. It's kind of a Clintonian argument. You could just as easily claim that we are grinding away at our first decade in Iraq, and that would be technically accurate as well, but also misleading.

Posted by: Mike McGill at March 9, 2006 10:43 PM

It doesn't matter whether you meant D-Day as a generic term or not. Doesn't change anything.

And no, it does not say anything about 48th month, it says "grinding into" the fourth year. It doesn't say "completing the fourth year".

It also doesn't say "grinding away at". If you want to play semantics, play them correctly.

As I said, they could have said "we're heading into the fourth year". This is correct to say shortly before the third year is finished.

In December 1999 we could as well have said: "We're heading into year 2000". To illustrated the painful, obstacle ridden process the author chose the metaphor "grinding into".

Re moment in time: The use of the present continuous tense is commonly used for actions happening right now (but not completed yet), or in the future. But it does not define "a moment in time", it describes a process.

"I'm singing" is happening right now but it's not finished yet. "I'm entering the U.S." is something that is happening right now but the process is not completed yet.

Same with grinding. The "into" indicates a destination that has not been (fully) reached.

If you really can't fathom the meaning of "grinding into", ok. It simply means a "slow, obstacle ridden way of getting somewhere ("into the 4th year).

On March 21st we will definitely have entered the fourth year of the war or are you questioning that, too?

Posted by: Math teacher at March 9, 2006 10:56 PM

stublu, that's of course a different argument.

Posted by: Math teacher at March 9, 2006 11:02 PM

The Post story is misleading. "Grinds into" implies that the threshold has been reached. That is not yet accurate, though it soon will be. It is but another example of a media organization making a concerted effort to make things look as dire as possible.

The invasion of Iraq was almost three years ago, and you are welcome to make the best or worst of it as you see fit.

"Math teacher has not been charged with molesting students after class."

Accurate, yet misleading.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at March 9, 2006 11:49 PM

"The invasion of Iraq began March 20, 2003. It is currently March 9, 2006. By my count, we've been in Iraq 2 years, 354 days. "Grinding" into a fourth year? Not yet."

What are you a moron? 365 days in a year last I checked, so in about a week and a half the third year is over and we're grinding into a fourth. What you wingnuts can't read a calendar?

Posted by: Frred at March 10, 2006 12:22 AM

Oh my God! This has officially gotten ridiculous. CY has brought this up as an example of media bias because the first sentence invokes the amount of time that the Iraq War has been going on despite the fact that it does NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO ADVANCE THE STORY. Using the word "grinds" is an editorial verb. The writer could have used the word "entered" or "approaches". The WP author did not and instead chose to reveal his own personal perspective in a subtle way. That is all you really have to know about it. If you want to say in 2007 that the Iraq War has entered its fourth year, that will be a bit more palatable since the last time I checked 2003+4=2007. When you quibble with CY over a menial issue like this, you come across as a twit. Let's all agree to be better than that and keep the debate at an intelligent level.

Posted by: Thrill at March 10, 2006 12:34 AM

Confederate Yankee, sorry but this is a wrong and ridiculous comparison.

Where is the misleading? That the Iraq war is about to enter the fourth year? Anyone with 4 thumbs can verify that.

"Grinding into" is not a neutral term, true. Where on earth is it written that a newspaper article has to use neutral terms only?

Sure, if you think the war is going well and impressive progress is made, you would not use this term.

But it's completely legitimate to assume otherwise. The Germans would not have used this term in the first week of WW1, when they stormed into France. After Verdun, they might very well have.

The situation in Iraq today is worse than in 2005, 2004 or 2003. It is very unclear whether the U.S. can make significant improvements over the year. It is entirely possible that Iraq is plunging into a full blown civil war. Not a given, but a possibility.

Getting people to vote isn't necessarily progress or democracy as we want to establish it in Iraq.

Imagine Mubarak calling for real free elections in Iraq and a radical Islamist jihadi group is elected by 80%. You may say, yippie, democracy on the march in the Arab world. But you might rather prefer the status quo.

All this has nothing to do with the example you quote. This would indeed be misleading because nobody would know what's actually behind the "denial".

Posted by: Math teacher at March 10, 2006 12:49 AM

It's not written anywhere that a newspaper article has to use neutral terms Math Teacher. The problem I and many on the Right have with MSM newspapers is that they claim to be objective and fair when they're really not. If the Washington Post would come right out and state that they are Democrats and they report the news in a way that fulfills a Democratic Party agenda, I would respect them for it. They do not, instead they call themselves impartial and then try to INFLUENCE events instead of merely reporting them. That's our beef. I'll give you an example: one time AP did a story on Halliburton misappropriating funds early in the occupation of Iraq. Is that a legitimate news story? Absolutely. Do you know how the story began? It read: "Vice President Dick Cheney's former company...". VP Cheney had nothing to do with it and he was not mentioned again in the article. Stating that VP Cheney had worked for Halliburton did absolutely nothing to advance the story but it did leave the reader with the impression that he was somehow involved in wrongdoing. That's subjective and partisan. This story led off in the same manner and remember, WP considers itself mainstream and objective. It isn't the New Republic or an admittedly partisan publication like that.

Posted by: Thrill at March 10, 2006 01:20 AM

I am a conservative Republican supporter of the specific war efforts in Iraq as well as all other approaches to Islamic terrorism, but I agree with Math Teacher that to pick on the first sentence in the article is misguided. It is only days away from entering the fourth year, and it is a it was told to us from the beginning it would be, as what us true believers have come to expect. No foul in that.

Posted by: rastajenk at March 10, 2006 10:13 AM comes math teacher....another KOSite. Are you actually debating that the MSM doesn't slant things to make them fit their own POV? Are you an idiot or just a Bennishite? Look at the latest dissection of the AP/IPSOS poll released today here.

Get a clue...the point wasn't the specific words - it was the fact that it could have been said much differently and covered the same thing. guys will find anything to argue about whether you believe it or not.

Posted by: Specter at March 10, 2006 10:43 AM

"Bottom Story of the Day": WaPo Has Secret Agenda

Posted by: rastajenk at March 10, 2006 10:51 AM

"Dems Indicted; Clinton, Kerry Targeted"

A CNN headline

"The head of the Republican Party is expected to charge Friday that the opposition can't find an election-year slogan, let alone agree on an agenda."

So if you only read the headline (think Google News), would you find this a bit "misleading" or not?

The "main stream media"? Which main stream is it?

Posted by: Math teacher at March 10, 2006 01:53 PM

Get off it math can't convince us. Try studying the issue for a minute or two. Just google "media bias" and see what you come up with. You will be amazed.

Examples: Quailgate (loser story from the start carried by every single MSM outlet), Imminent Iraq Civil War (Where's my war dude?), Katrina misstatements from AP last week (they actually published a correction), Kennedy and the CAP debacle over Alito, this mornings biased poll about Bush's ratings (AP/IPSOS - read more here. Just read. It happens. There is bias and it is overwhelmingly liberal.

Posted by: Specter at March 10, 2006 03:48 PM

Man, everything is coming up roses for the Bush admin but you'd never know it from the press. The Iraqis are quickly taking over their own defense, Iran really has nowhere to go for support, the Palestinians are leaderless and floundering, we have improved relationship with India and Pakistan, Denmark is showing resilience which could be an example for the rest of Europe to show some spunk, the Dems are on the ropes (nothing new there); what's there not to like (forget the port deals, that's just more media noise). I predict that when the Saddam tape translations are made public just before the elections, the approval surge will give the Republicans an increase their congressional majorities.

Posted by: docdave at March 14, 2006 09:57 PM

I have just eaten lunch and read through this collection of opinions. It is actually nice to see opinions and, whether we agree or not, we have the right to them. I am becoming more anti-muslim (or Islam, as I am still confused as to which is which). Christianity had nothing to do with the Holocost, it had to do with hatred that was organized by a lot of people who needed something to hate in order to organize. Muslims are here in the USA and changing local laws along the way. They are doing it quietly and they are expanding. One just has to look around metropolitan Detroit to see the Mosques and how people dress in Southfield and Deaborn. They are 'moderate' NOW, but when they have sufficient numbers will they continue to be? How do they feel about the man in Afghanistan who should be put to death for converting to Christianity? What if I convert to Islam, should I be put to death by the Pope? Certainly this is a rhetorical question. But, what does it say about what Muslims want? I believe they want all of the Earth's population to be Muslim. As I stated in the beginning, it is only me expressing an opinion, I hope we still have these abilities in 50 years.

Posted by: Dennis at March 27, 2006 01:02 PM