IL: WINDOW INTO ‘HEARTS AND MINDS’ OF MUSLIMS
A recent poll by the non-partisan Pew Research Center showed that Muslims in America are “largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world.”
In other words, exactly what American Muslims have been saying all along.
The assimilation of the Muslim minority is a critical issue, with law enforcement paying particular attention because an alienated minority is seen as more susceptible to embracing extremist ideology and violent methods.
This is especially pertinent in Europe. British-born Muslims carried out the London terrorist bombings two years ago. And the recent failed terror attacks in London and Glasgow appear to have been the work of Muslim doctors working in Britain.
As a Muslim and a physician, I cannot fully describe the shock and anger I feel about that. My primary duty as a physician is to “do no harm.” I lie awake thinking about the medical problems of my patients. I get up in the middle of the night to see my hospitalized patients. I live and breathe the Quranic principle that if anyone saves a life, it is as if he or she has saved all of humanity.
So to find that the barbarians behind the recent failed British attacks could be doctors shook me to the core. If what is alleged is true, they have committed the ultimate betrayal. It is a betrayal not only of the Islamic principle that all life is sacrosanct, but also of the primary objective of the medical profession: the protection and preservation of human life.
When such attacks occur, it is natural to inquire about what factors within the Muslim community might lead to radicalization. Would that there were a window into the “hearts and minds” of Muslims to understand how they think and feel.
Enter the Pew research poll.