Recently, Bill Maher and Ben Affleck got into an on-air fight over Islamic culture. Maher contends that the culture and values of many Muslims in the world are backwards and illiberal. Affleck contented that saying so was offensive and racist. The video went viral, and many people began taking sides in this debate.

 

To help settle the dispute, I looked up some poll results:

1.

40% of British Muslims want Sharia Law introduced in the UK. 20% have sympathy for the 7/7 bombers.

2.

Over 50% of Muslims in Jordan and Lebanon, over 40% in Nigeria and Indonesia, and 30% in Egypt have a favorable view of Hezbollah, a group the US and EU classifies as a terrorist organization. There are similar numbers for Hamas in these countries. In addition, 49%, effectively half of all Nigerian Muslims, have a favorable view of Al Qaeda. 34% do in Jordan.

3.

68% of British Muslims support the arrest and prosecution of those who insult Islam.

4.

In a Pew survey of Muslims in 11 nations, there was a median of only 57% who had an unfavorable view of Al Qaeda. The median was 51% for the Taliban.

 

These polls only scratch the surface of available data. Some available polls show positive trends of Muslim populations increasing their acceptance of liberal ideals. However, clearly there are large numbers of Muslims in the world, and unfortunately, in the West specifically, who do in fact hold illiberal views.

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