[T]he Pew Research Center publish[ed] a survey of great value due to its broader range of topics, direct questioning, and extensive demographic cross tabs.
[T]he data indicate that radical views are held by a small but important minority that cannot be ignored. These and other interesting results are highlighted below:
Radical Muslims remain uncommon in the U.S. — but not uncommon enough. Muslims' opinions of al-Qaeda are 5% favorable and 81% unfavorable; 14% did not answer. This is a step forward, as only 68% recorded disapproval in 2007.
Perhaps most troubling, 21% of U.S. Muslims see a great deal or fair amount of support for extremism among their own. [M]ore U.S.-born Muslims than immigrants hold radical views. Native-born African-American Muslims lead with way...
Despite pseudo-academic studies smearing those who sound the alarm about radical Islam as "Islamophobes," Pew finds that 60% of Muslims are very or somewhat concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism in the U.S. — almost as high as the figure for the general public (67%). Are many Muslim Americans "Islamophobes" as well?
The Pew poll erodes the Islamist meme that life in America is miserable for Muslims. Pew finds that 56% of Muslims are satisfied with the country's direction, compared to 23% of the general public. Muslims also are happier with their lives, have a more positive financial outlook, and feel more confident that hard work leads to success.
It is reassuring that most U.S. Muslims hold mainstream views, but history shows that Islamists need not be a majority to be dangerous.