A Worrisome Poll

Clash between Islam, West is political, majority says.

Ottawa Citizen, February 19, 2007

The Citizen's observation was based on a poll of 28,389 people world-wide.

Politics is about building consensus, Islam is about imposing consensus based on its interpretation of the Divine Will.

The choice we face is a political one to the extent that we are asked to make a choice between living in a Democracy or a Theocracy. Give me politicians with their foibles and doubts and keep your ayatollahs, imams and mullahs and their revealed truth.

One very worrisome piece of information to come out of this poll is that a larger percentage of Muslims than non-Muslims said that violent conflict between believers and non-believers was inevitable, with Indonesia the largest Muslim nation registering a majority of 51%. Only 27% of Canadians polled said that violent conflict was inevitable.

The pollsters reported their findings as optimistic because, except for Indonesia, a majority of Muslims and non-Muslims said that accommodations can be reached to arrive at a peaceful solution.

I take no comfort in this finding. For non-Muslims accommodation usually means compromise; for Islamists it is usually the opposite.

As a Canadian imam serving the Muslim community at McGill University explained, during a dispute there as to whether the university should be compelled to provide prayer rooms, God's Will as revealed in the Koran must take precedent in everything. There was no room for compromise.

Bernard Payeur