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Reference on this blog: “Shimmer”.

Update – October 9, 2014

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/06/ben-affleck-and-bill-maher-are-both-wrong-about-islamic-fundamentalism/ – 10/6/2014.  The global survey highlights tell at least a story suspected: attitudes are different in North America from those predominant in Asia and elsewhere.

As with other mirage, as one in fact draws closer to the object sought, the shimmering stops and more solid details maintain their appearance with solidity.

Update – October 15, 2014

The most striking as well as encouraging finding is that ISIS has almost no popular support in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, or Lebanon – even among Sunnis. Among Egyptians, a mere 3 percent express a favorable opinion of ISIS. In Saudi Arabia, the figure is slightly higher: 5 percent rate ISIS positively. In Lebanon, not a single Christian, Shiite, or Druze respondent viewed ISIS favorably; and even among Lebanon’s Sunnis, that figure is almost equally low at 1 percent.

http://fikraforum.org/?p=5608 – Distributed 10/14/2014 by The Washington Institute.  The web page summary has attached to it the full PDF report.

The BackChannel’s page “Shimmer” launched to suggest that factual data should exist somewhere between the apologist’s “ISIS does not represent Islam” and the strident anti-Jihadist’s “Islam is represented by ISIS”.

It should be noted that Islam-defending apologist and the strident Jihad watcher share the same abhorrence as regards what ISIS represents.  In contest, however, one argues that Muhammad the Messenger and the Qur’an are okey dokey and some Muslims are nutty (and need to be dealt with) and the other’s analysis suggests Muhammad’s battlefield history — with the Banu Qurayza signal to what was to come — plus the contradictions within the Qur’an plus patently vicious Hadith, including the counsel to deceive the infidel, are just plain ugly all the way through.

Now we’re starting to see numbers.

From a dimensional perspective, fog floats with them: the reduction “ISIS bad : Brotherhood good : Hamas very good” (suggested by facets of the Fikra Forum report) is a head scratcher: what central beliefs and tenets and related attitudes constitute irreducible surveyed objects of interest?

While the “Islamic Small Wars” burn everywhere beneath the surface or on it,  the want to address those “beliefs, tenets, and related attitudes” as candidly, completely and specifically as possible remains compelling.

Related and Recommended Reading

One woman gestured to her hijab, her face flushed, shouting: “Who are you to talk about these victims, when you aren’t even visibly Muslim?” For good measure, she added that I was personally responsible for the post 9/11 escalation in the harassment of veiled Muslim women.

I was stunned.

Ahmed, Qanta.  “In the Company of Prophets: One Muslim’s journey into Islamism, courtesy of Rutgers.”  National Review, October 15, 2014.

Update October 24, 2014

http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/09/10/muslim-publics-share-concerns-about-extremist-groups/ – 9/10/2013.  This poll predates the other two, but it belongs here as may Daniel Pipes’ classic “How Many Islamists?” from 2003.

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