A vast majority of Muslims in America feel the use of force in Iraq was wrong — even more so than the general public, according to survey results — but some say a continued U.S. presence is necessary for stability.
The most recent Pew Research Center survey on the subject, published May 22, found that 75 percent of Muslim Americans said the U.S. use of military force in Iraq was wrong, compared to 47 percent of the general public.
Farid Senzai, director of research for the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, helped advise Pew on its survey. He said Muslim-Americans in general saw a disconnect between the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the invasion of Iraq, even though the war on terrorism was one of the main reasons the Bush administration gave for going to war in Iraq.
Muslims recognized that al-Qaida, the self-proclaimed perpetrator of the Sept. 11 attacks, was a religious network that wouldn’t want to affiliate itself with former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who was a member of the secular Baathist Party, said Senzai.
Most Muslims in America and in other parts of the world believe terrorism would be better addressed through political options rather than military might, he added.
A survey of Muslim American voters conducted last year by the Council on American-Islamic Relations also found that the majority of both Sunnis and Shias thought the war in Iraq was a bad choice for the United States, though the percentage was slightly higher among Sunnis. (MORE)