In U.S., Muslims And Atheists Most Opposed To Violence

lotfi_morteza20110713105003873Is violence targeting civilians ever justified in the name of a worthy cause? U.S. Christians say yes, atheists and Muslims say no. Raw Story writes:

New data from polling firm Gallup shows that out of all the religious groups in the U.S., Muslims are most likely to reject violence, followed by the non-religious atheists and agnostics.

Through interviews with 2,482 Americans, Gallup found that 78 percent of Muslims believe violence which kills civilians is never justified, whereas just 38 percent of Protestant Christians and 39 percent of Catholics agreed with that sentiment. Fifty-six percent of atheists answered similarly.

The survey was designed to measure religious and non-religious attitudes toward violence 10 years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Perhaps most tellingly, 92 percent of Muslims surveyed said they did not believe any Muslim in their community had sympathy toward al Qaeda terrorists.

When Gallup put the question a bit more pointedly, asking if it would be justified for “an individual person or a small group of persons to target and kill civilians,” the responses were a bit more uniform. Respondents from nearly all groups were widely opposed to such tactics, with Protestants and Catholics at 71 percent against. Muslims still had the highest number opposed, at 89 percent. Seventy-six percent of atheists were also opposed.

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  • Penguins4life

    I would actually believe this true since you dont see any “terrorist” attacks here in the USA. And they sure as hell arent blowing themselves up here either. Strange how it all happens in only the countries they tell us the terrorist are. Knowing a few atheist myself they oppose violence as well. No offense to Christian people, but they act like they run this country as their own. 

  • Penguins4life

    I would actually believe this true since you dont see any “terrorist” attacks here in the USA. And they sure as hell arent blowing themselves up here either. Strange how it all happens in only the countries they tell us the terrorist are. Knowing a few atheist myself they oppose violence as well. No offense to Christian people, but they act like they run this country as their own. 

    • Hadrian999

      it would seem to me that terror attacks are more of a product of an environment of hopelessness than of a particular religion, American Muslims  don’t live in a totally hopeless environment devoid of viable options that many live in in the middle east, if there were a serious jihad movement inside the USA it would have made it’s presence known, terror attacks are simple to commit and nearly impossible to stop

      • DeepCough

        Indeed, violence sometimes come down to this thing called “incentive.” While some people have become indoctrinated to believe that Moslems are de facto violent loonies, Islamic theology discourages “rushing into Paradise” by way of suicide bombing in the Hadiths. It is usually corrupt religious leaders that conflate violence with holiness and order people to die in the name of a god as is evidenced by the Crusades.

    • Jahopson Tx

      Timothy McVeigh, the Ft. Hood slayings by an Islamic member of our Army, the World Trade Center basement bomb in the early 80’s, and of course 9/11, and NUMEROUS other intercepted attempts and plots which were thwarted – I’d say terrorist attacks certainly DO happen here. And you are completely right about the “Christian Political” gang.

      • Penguins4life

        What I mean is you dont see people strapping bombs to their chest and making IED’s.

        Every place has its attacks where someone goes apeshit and does something stupid. No place is safe from that. 

      • Butter Knife

        The US has a population of over 300 million. Every other year or so, we experience an act of terrorism in which a few people die and there is some property damage. The only two attacks in recent history that were actually major are OKC and 9/11. There were 6 years between those attacks.

        Compare that to Israel, a country with a tiny fraction of the population and land mass of the US, and suddenly it looks an awful lot like we have experienced 2 statistical anomalies but are otherwise terrorism free.

      • Tuna Ghost

        The Ft. Hood slayings by an Islamic member of our Army,
        Was that really a terrorist attack, though?  I don’t think the dude was attempting to effect policy change with violence against civilians.

  • Hadrian999

    it would seem to me that terror attacks are more of a product of an environment of hopelessness than of a particular religion, American Muslims  don’t live in a totally hopeless environment devoid of viable options that many live in in the middle east, if there were a serious jihad movement inside the USA it would have made it’s presence known, terror attacks are simple to commit and nearly impossible to stop

  • Anonymous

    Anyone surprised by this information raise your hands…?

    *crickets chirp*

  • quartz99

    Anyone surprised by this information raise your hands…?

    *crickets chirp*

  • DeepCough

    Indeed, violence sometimes come down to this thing called “incentive.” While some people have become indoctrinated to believe that Moslems are de facto violent loonies, Islamic theology discourages “rushing into Paradise” by way of suicide bombing in the Hadiths. It is usually corrupt religious leaders that conflate violence with holiness and order people to die in the name of a god as is evidenced by the Crusades.

  • Jahopson Tx

    Timothy McVeigh, the Ft. Hood slayings by an Islamic member of our Army, the World Trade Center basement bomb in the early 80’s, and of course 9/11, and NUMEROUS other intercepted attempts and plots which were thwarted – I’d say terrorist attacks certainly DO happen here. And you are completely right about the “Christian Political” gang.

  • fla

    Regardless which religious groups are more or less opposed to violence: this is an example of promoting stereotypes with the use of statistical tendency of opinion.  I feel like most of the articles on this site seem to have an agenda of presenting Christians or Conservative minded people as being warmongers.  (I know some will laugh at my last statement but yes, there are come conservatives who are anit-war.)

    If this site is for progressive minded truthseekers, we should then get away from this type of thinking. 

    It is politically inccorrect to assume Muslims are violent based on a few bad apples.  I agree with this. However I also think the same should apply for Christians. 

  • fla

    Regardless which religious groups are more or less opposed to violence: this is an example of promoting stereotypes with the use of statistical tendency of opinion.  I feel like most of the articles on this site seem to have an agenda of presenting Christians or Conservative minded people as being warmongers.  (I know some will laugh at my last statement but yes, there are come conservatives who are anit-war.)

    If this site is for progressive minded truthseekers, we should then get away from this type of thinking. 

    It is politically inccorrect to assume Muslims are violent based on a few bad apples.  I agree with this. However I also think the same should apply for Christians. 

    • Nirvanasteve

      I think Vox Magi hit the nail on the head with what you’re saying. It’s more about the environment than the religious belief. I don’t think a majority of Christian’s in Middle Eastern countries would be very fond of violence either, being that they and everyone else are consistently exposed to the horrors brutality. 

      • Malk

        when it comes down to it PEOPLE don’t like to be kicked in the shins. those who are -most- interested in fighting are the well paid american children who play video games all day and watch hollywood movies 4-5 times a week. There are certainly bad apples in any country, and largely for the same reasons, bad parenting, poor education, limited world experience, but trying an end all categorization of humans into groups like “Muslim” “Christian” etc. is ultimately folly.

        here in Japan, there are also Muslims and Christians and Jehovah witnesses, etc. the world is covered with all forms of religion and the American polls like to ignore this. like to limit their tiny study to a specific couple of states, load the questions, and then present the results as an end all to any argument.

        in the end there are very very few terrorists in the world compared to the number of peace seeking, happiness bent civilians. If China invaded American and occupied all of its major cities for 5-10 years you would see nutcases throwing bombs left and right getting shot to pieces by the Chinese military. Terrorism is brought on by oppression, and -America is the oppressor-.

        -9/11 does not count- as terrorism in my opinion because it was planned and enacted by the rich and powerful with a specific purpose and agenda, as I’m pretty sure everyone on this site knows quite well by now.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    More to the point…if you take ANY group of people who have experienced being marginalized and victimized…they generally aren’t huge fans of violence…since their experience has born out a realization of how awful that can be. Armchair quarterbacks on the other hand, secure in their naivete and certain of the rightness of their cause (especially when the harm to others will be performed by others from a safe distance with minimal personal repercussions) seem a lot more likely to chant “Yay…violence.” …as long as they aren’t in the middle of it. And face it…despite all the pseudo-babble persecution obsession that permeates modern Christian lore…they are at the top of the social food chain and enjoy a level of safety and comfort in the US that is beyond the norm in many places. From that lofty vantage…its easy to throw around the idea of a ‘noble cause’ that involves blown up bits of women and children. Bring the vantage point back down to earth with those who fear being on the receiving end of it…and the picture reverses itself until desperation and fatalism from extreme abuse kick in.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    More to the point…if you take ANY group of people who have experienced being marginalized and victimized…they generally aren’t huge fans of violence…since their experience has born out a realization of how awful that can be. Armchair quarterbacks on the other hand, secure in their naivete and certain of the rightness of their cause (especially when the harm to others will be performed by others from a safe distance with minimal personal repercussions) seem a lot more likely to chant “Yay…violence.” …as long as they aren’t in the middle of it. And face it…despite all the pseudo-babble persecution obsession that permeates modern Christian lore…they are at the top of the social food chain and enjoy a level of safety and comfort in the US that is beyond the norm in many places. From that lofty vantage…its easy to throw around the idea of a ‘noble cause’ that involves blown up bits of women and children. Bring the vantage point back down to earth with those who fear being on the receiving end of it…and the picture reverses itself until desperation and fatalism from extreme abuse kick in.

    • SF2K01

      Religious belief is often open to exploitation. Islam and Christianity have a lot of messages that encourage ongoing violence, but those messages are only utilized when it offers some kind of benefit. It is non-beneficial for people leading happy, decent and relatively wealthy lives to cause upheaval in society, but it is for people who are oppressed and living in dire situations or governments looking to enforce cohesion and obedience. Thus the Middle East, as an example, is very fond of violence for the above reasons just like the Christian kingdoms were in the Middle ages. As they become more modern, they will like it less.

  • Nirvanasteve

    I think Vox Magi hit the nail on the head with what you’re saying. It’s more about the environment than the religious belief. I don’t think a majority of Christian’s in Middle Eastern countries would be very fond of violence either, being that they and everyone else are consistently exposed to the horrors brutality. 

  • Mysophobe

    Several times since 9/11, I have expressed the opinion that the actual number of people in this world willing to kill civilians in a terrorist attack is a far smaller than we are led to believe by the media and politicians. I have been derided by friends and family from both the right and left as being naive or even unpatriotic for expressing this sentiment. I stand by it. Don’t get me wrong, we should certainly take reasonable measures to protect ourselves and of course stop fucking inviting hostility, but pretending that millions of Muslims are morally capable of killing western civilians is just unhealthy for everyone. Fear is the mind killer.

  • Mysophobe

    Several times since 9/11, I have expressed the opinion that the actual number of people in this world willing to kill civilians in a terrorist attack is a far smaller than we are led to believe by the media and politicians. I have been derided by friends and family from both the right and left as being naive or even unpatriotic for expressing this sentiment. I stand by it. Don’t get me wrong, we should certainly take reasonable measures to protect ourselves and of course stop fucking inviting hostility, but pretending that millions of Muslims are morally capable of killing western civilians is just unhealthy for everyone. Fear is the mind killer.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PP27FOUX7TCQ5ORPKUWAT2R5V4 Ray

      I think that’s a pretty accurate assessment. Unfortunately,
      it only takes one person to cause a horrendous amount of damage as the attacks
      in Norway show but the majority of people don’t commit terrorist attacks. It
      might be because they don’t want to deal with the consequences or it might be
      because they actually don’t want to harm people. Just look at the U.S. and any
      open society, there’s plenty of means for destruction, yet it’s pretty unusual
      that an attack even an attempted attack takes place.

      The threat from terrorists was completely overblown after
      9/11 even though past history had shown that they had nowhere near the
      capability of what people feared. I remember news and the government making it
      sound like terrorists were everywhere and at anytime would start attacking us
      but the reality seems to be far from that. I don’t think that we should
      discount the threat of terrorists but there are unfortunately much worse dangers
      to the country like 45,000 people dying every year because of lack of coverage
      from a corrupt healthcare system and 106,000 people dying every year from
      prescription drugs. More attention should be given to prevent or mitigate catastrophes
      like those things that almost completely ignored by the vast public.

  • Anonymous

    Terrorism only wounds the people and increases oppression.

  • Redacted

    Terrorism only wounds the people and increases oppression.

  • Penguins4life

    What I mean is you dont see people strapping bombs to their chest and making IED’s.

    Every place has its attacks where someone goes apeshit and does something stupid. No place is safe from that. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PP27FOUX7TCQ5ORPKUWAT2R5V4 Ray

    I think that’s a pretty accurate assessment. Unfortunately,
    it only takes one person to cause a horrendous amount of damage as the attacks
    in Norway show but the majority of people don’t commit terrorist attacks. It
    might be because they don’t want to deal with the consequences or it might be
    because they actually don’t want to harm people. Just look at the U.S. and any
    open society, there’s plenty of means for destruction, yet it’s pretty unusual
    that an attack even an attempted attack takes place.

    The threat from terrorists was completely overblown after
    9/11 even though past history had shown that they had nowhere near the
    capability of what people feared. I remember news and the government making it
    sound like terrorists were everywhere and at anytime would start attacking us
    but the reality seems to be far from that. I don’t think that we should
    discount the threat of terrorists but there are unfortunately much worse dangers
    to the country like 45,000 people dying every year because of lack of coverage
    from a corrupt healthcare system and 106,000 people dying every year from
    prescription drugs. More attention should be given to prevent or mitigate catastrophes
    like those things that almost completely ignored by the vast public.

  • Malk

    when it comes down to it PEOPLE don’t like to be kicked in the shins. those who are -most- interested in fighting are the well paid american children who play video games all day and watch hollywood movies 4-5 times a week. There are certainly bad apples in any country, and largely for the same reasons, bad parenting, poor education, limited world experience, but trying an end all categorization of humans into groups like “Muslim” “Christian” etc. is ultimately folly.

    here in Japan, there are also Muslims and Christians and Jehovah witnesses, etc. the world is covered with all forms of religion and the American polls like to ignore this. like to limit their tiny study to a specific couple of states, load the questions, and then present the results as an end all to any argument.

    in the end there are very very few terrorists in the world compared to the number of peace seeking, happiness bent civilians. If China invaded American and occupied all of its major cities for 5-10 years you would see nutcases throwing bombs left and right getting shot to pieces by the Chinese military. Terrorism is brought on by oppression, and -America is the oppressor-.

    -9/11 does not count- as terrorism in my opinion because it was planned and enacted by the rich and powerful with a specific purpose and agenda, as I’m pretty sure everyone on this site knows quite well by now.

  • Malk

    when it comes down to it PEOPLE don’t like to be kicked in the shins. those who are -most- interested in fighting are the well paid american children who play video games all day and watch hollywood movies 4-5 times a week. There are certainly bad apples in any country, and largely for the same reasons, bad parenting, poor education, limited world experience, but trying an end all categorization of humans into groups like “Muslim” “Christian” etc. is ultimately folly.

    here in Japan, there are also Muslims and Christians and Jehovah witnesses, etc. the world is covered with all forms of religion and the American polls like to ignore this. like to limit their tiny study to a specific couple of states, load the questions, and then present the results as an end all to any argument.

    in the end there are very very few terrorists in the world compared to the number of peace seeking, happiness bent civilians. If China invaded American and occupied all of its major cities for 5-10 years you would see nutcases throwing bombs left and right getting shot to pieces by the Chinese military. Terrorism is brought on by oppression, and -America is the oppressor-.

    -9/11 does not count- as terrorism in my opinion because it was planned and enacted by the rich and powerful with a specific purpose and agenda, as I’m pretty sure everyone on this site knows quite well by now.

  • Butter Knife

    The US has a population of over 300 million. Every other year or so, we experience an act of terrorism in which a few people die and there is some property damage. The only two attacks in recent history that were actually major are OKC and 9/11. There were 6 years between those attacks.

    Compare that to Israel, a country with a tiny fraction of the population and land mass of the US, and suddenly it looks an awful lot like we have experienced 2 statistical anomalies but are otherwise terrorism free.

  • Jim S

    I wonder where the Quakers rank? Islam the religion of peace and a big stack of bodies. Please check http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/ for a score card on 1 of the 2 most  religions opposed to violence.

  • Jim S

    I wonder where the Quakers rank? Islam the religion of peace and a big stack of bodies. Please check http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/ for a score card on 1 of the 2 most  religions opposed to violence.

  • Anonymous

    Religious belief is often open to exploitation. Islam and Christianity have a lot of messages that encourage ongoing violence, but those messages are only utilized when it offers some kind of benefit. It is non-beneficial for people leading happy, decent and relatively wealthy lives to cause upheaval in society, but it is for people who are oppressed and living in dire situations or governments looking to enforce cohesion and obedience. Thus the Middle East, as an example, is very fond of violence for the above reasons just like the Christian kingdoms were in the Middle ages. As they become more modern, they will like it less.

  • Anonymous

    Religious belief is often open to exploitation. Islam and Christianity have a lot of messages that encourage ongoing violence, but those messages are only utilized when it offers some kind of benefit. It is non-beneficial for people leading happy, decent and relatively wealthy lives to cause upheaval in society, but it is for people who are oppressed and living in dire situations or governments looking to enforce cohesion and obedience. Thus the Middle East, as an example, is very fond of violence for the above reasons just like the Christian kingdoms were in the Middle ages. As they become more modern, they will like it less.

  • Bigdickmegaherz

    Lets fan the fire with more US vs Them propaganda, because for some reason two wrongs make a right. Instigating bullshit like this is why no one can get along. Congrats.

  • Bigdickmegaherz

    Lets fan the fire with more US vs Them propaganda, because for some reason two wrongs make a right. Instigating bullshit like this is why no one can get along. Congrats.

  • Tuna Ghost

    The Ft. Hood slayings by an Islamic member of our Army,
    Was that really a terrorist attack, though?  I don’t think the dude was attempting to effect policy change with violence against civilians.

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