Kudos to Couric: Highlights Pro-Terrorist Views of Fourth of Young Muslims in America

On Tuesday's CBS Evening News, anchor Katie Couric allocated a few seconds to alerting viewers to how a new poll discovered that a significant minority of Muslims in America hold “disturbing” views on the acceptability of suicide bombings and who carried out the 9/11 attacks. Neither the ABC or NBC evening newscasts mentioned the new non-network poll released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Though Pew headlined its report “Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream,” Couric picked up on the AP's spin (“Some US Muslims say suicide attacks OK” on Yahoo; CBSNews.com: “Poll: 26% Of Young U.S. Muslims OK Bombs”), as she reported: “One in four American Muslims under the age of 30 believe suicide bombings are acceptable in at least some cases if they're defending their religion. And only 40 percent of all American Muslims said they believe Arab men carried out the September 11th attacks.”

Muslims in America, however, are no more radical than Democrats in general, a majority of whom, a recent poll skipped by CBS and the other networks found, believe President Bush knew in advance of the 9/11 attacks or are not sure if he did. A May 4 Rasmussen Reports survey of 800 likely voters exposed how “Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.” (Only 7 percent of the Muslims asked by Pew agreed “Bush/U.S. conspiracy responsible.” See page 51 of the PDF linked below.)

Another finding of concern in the Pew survey: 47 percent of Muslims in America think of themselves as “Muslims first” over being an American. Also noteworthy (see page 41 of the PDF): Muslims identify as Democrats over Republican by a whopping 63 to 11 percent and they voted for Kerry over Bush in 2004 by an overwhelming 71 to 14 percent.

The 100-page plus PDF of the full report on the poll of 1,050 Muslims in the United States. Check page 54 for the support for suicide bombings amongst those aged 18-29.

Couric's short item, on the May 22 CBS Evening News that she anchored from Philadelphia, in which she segued from news about al Qaeda using Iraq:
“And late word tonight, the White House has declassified some intelligence about a newly revealed terror plot against the United States allegedly ordered up by Osama bin Laden. According to the intelligence, bin Laden ordered a top lieutenant in 2005 to form a terror cell that would use Iraq as a staging ground to launch attacks around the world with the United States the top target.

“Meanwhile, a new poll released today shows most American Muslims are critical of al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists, but there are some disturbing findings as well. One in four [26%] American Muslims under the age of 30 believe suicide bombings are acceptable in at least some cases if they're defending their religion. And only 40 percent of all American Muslims said they believe Arab men carried out the September 11th attacks. According to the FBI, all of the hijackers were Arab, most from Saudi Arabia.”

Editor's Note (Ken Shepherd | 23:29 EDT):

Related NB items available here and here.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center