Do 400,000 Muslims in the U.S. support Islamist violence?
Pew found that 81 percent of the nearly 3 million Muslims in the United States said such violence is never justified. Five percent said it is rarely justified; 7 percent said it is sometimes justified, and 1 percent said it is often justified. Six percent said they didn’t know.
One can read those numbers reassuringly — 81 percent disavow jihadist violence — or one can read them alarmingly. Trump reads them alarmingly. If Pew’s numbers are correct, then 13 percent of the Muslims currently in the United States believe Islamist violence is justified in at least some cases. Given the current Muslim population of the U.S., that’s just under 400,000 people.
I think the numbers are actually higher. I strongly suspect that a lot of Muslims know that it’s wrong to let outsiders know what they really think about this topic, so they don’t tell the pollsters what the really think.