This is what we’re hearing from American politicians:
Note first the conflation between Muslims and Islam, which is the conflation between “criticizing religion” and “being a bigot against its adherents”.
But the claim to investigate is the characterization of “peaceful and tolerant” adherents. Here are data from the 2013 Pew Survey:
“Together, the surveys involved more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in 80-plus languages and dialects, covering every country that has more than 10 million Muslims except for a handful (including China, India, Saudi Arabia and Syria) where political sensitivities or security concerns prevented opinion research among Muslims.” These also include Iran.
Conclusion: “Peaceful”: perhaps. “Tolerant”: no. Perhaps Clinton should amend her statement to say “Islam in America” is peaceful and tolerant. Clearly, tolerance is not on the menu in much of the Muslim world. And, as I said yesterday, the rest of the world really is important here, for that’s where the impetus for American Islamic terrorism comes from. It is ISIS recruiters, it’s the imams preaching in the Middle East, who inspire both immigrants to America, as well as citizens with Muslim ancestry, to commit acts of terrorism. You can’t ignore the views of Muslims worldwide when considering the behavior of American Islamists.
I’d amend Clinton’s statement to say “Virtually all religions are adversaries of rationality, democracy, and Enlightenment values.”
Finally, it behooves us to note that when a CNN reporter held her feet to the fire yesterday, Clinton conceded, in a somewhat mealymouthed way:
I have clearly said that we face terrorist enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering innocent people, and you know, whether you call it radical jihadism or radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing; I’m happy to say either.
She then clarifies a bit by saying that she won’t demonize a whole religion.
Listen to the full clip here.