270 million suicide bombers


Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy and forgiveness that should not be associated with acts of violence against the innocent.

After 9/11 and two wars, I’m skeptical of that claim, but until recently I had nothing but anecdotal evidence to lean on. This week, I went looking for facts to help me evaluate CAIR’s assertion. I originally thought that in the worst case, as many as 10% of Muslims might support suicide bombing. It turns out I’m a starry-eyed optimist. Over 270 million Muslims (that’s consistent with the over one third of all Muslims surveyed) approve of suicide bombings, if the data’s accurate.
I hope I’m overestimating, but unfortunately I think I’m right.
First, my sources. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press recently conducted two surveys of Muslim attitudes, one called “What the World Thinks in 2002” (12/4/2002) and the other called “A Year After Iraq War” (3/16/2004). Both reports listed the percentage of Muslim respondents who thought suicide bombings were acceptable. The pertinent part of the 2002 report covered Bangladesh, Ghana, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, and Uzbekistan. The pertinent part of the 2004 report covered Turkey, Pakistan, Morocco, and Jordan. I also looked through the CIA’s World Factbook to get demographic information on each country.
Next, my assumptions and biases. I’m assuming that the folks at The Pew Center and the CIA have published accurate information. I pray the Pew folks got wildly overstated results … but the pessimist in me doubts that. My bias has long been decidedly unfavorable toward Islam, and it’s been worse since 9/11. I’m an evangelical Christian conservative, a registered Republican, and a military veteran. I judge individual Muslims on their own behavior, and have known several quite nice ones. Nevertheless I consider Islam in general to be a threat to the Judeo-Christian culture and liberties that we enjoy here in America.
That said, let’s crunch the numbers. Approval rates for suicide bombing range from Uzbekistan’s 7% up to Jordan’s 86%. With 710,884,350 Muslims in these sixteen countries, an average of 38.3% approve of suicide bombings. That comes to 272,564,884 potential Muslim suicide bombers.
Anybody got a flak jacket I can borrow?
I can hear the protests already. “But that’s not a representative sample!” Alright, point taken. Perhaps the good folks at The Pew Center should ask people in more countries about their attitudes (assuming those dictatorships allow them in to begin with). Ask them about their chosen venues, not me. I just run their numbers. But fine, I’ll humor the Muslim apologists. Let’s cast a wider net right here and now.
Let’s add in twelve more places with significant Muslim populations: Afghanistan, Egypt, the Gaza Strip, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkmenistan, the USA, and the West Bank. We have demographic information from the CIA as before, but the Pew studies didn’t cover those countries, so we don’t know how many of these Muslims think suicide bombing is acceptable. For the sake of argument I’ll be insanely generous and estimate that it’s a mere 1%. I’ll go even further; in the USA and Israel I’ll call it just 0.1%, since Muslims in these two countries are presumably enlightened and moderate. I’ll even use CAIR’s very optimistic estimate of a U.S. Muslim population of seven million, just to show I’m a nice guy. With those estimates, what shakes out for these twelve countries/territories? We have 250,738,931 Muslims … 2,436,352 of whom are in favor of suicide bombing. Israel has only 893 of its own to watch out for. How many in America, land of the 99.9% peace-loving Muslim? Seven thousand.
Better get crackin’, Team Ashcroft.
Merge my incredibly low-ball estimates with the original Pew data, and we get 275,001,236 suicide bombing fans (28.6% of the total). Keep in mind that these figures are drastically skewed toward the low end because of my concession to the “99% peace-loving” meme. Any takers on whether the Saudis, Syrians, Iranians, and Palestinians show a smidgen more than 1% approval?
So, is this The Religion of Peace™? You be the judge.

  1. Thank you for that interesting article, “270 Million Suicide Bombers.”
    Muslim apologists like CAIR keep saying that Islam is the religion of peace, but I’ve read the Quran and I also have three of the Hadith collections, Sahih Al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, and Sunan Abu Dawud, and there are many passages in each of these about going to war. Muslim apologists say that there is a lot of warfare in the Bible, but the difference is that the ancient Israelites fought specific groups of people such as the Hittites, Jebusites, Philistines, etc., not everyone who is not an Israelite. The way the Quran is written about fighting nonbelievers, it means to fight anyone who is not a Muslim. My copy of The Interpretations of the Meanings of the Holy Quran, by Al-Hilali and Khan, published by Darussalam Publishers and Distributors, P. O. Box 22743, Riyadh 11416, Saudi Arabia, states in a footnote on page 50, “Al-Jihad (holy fighting) in Allah’s Cause (with full force of numbers and weaponry) is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars (on which it stands). By Jihad Islam is established, Allah’s Word is made superior (His Word being La ilaha illallah which means none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and His religion (Islam) is propagated. By abandoning Jihad (may Allah protect us from that), Islam is destroyed and the Muslims fall into an inferior position, their honour is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim, and he who tries to escape from this duty or does not in her innermost heart wish to fulfil this duty, dies with one of the qualities of a hypocrite.”
    According to that footnote, Jihad is not just for self defense, contrary to what many Muslim apologists say, it can also be used to spread Islam.
    It is interesting to note that this Quran was published in Saudi Arabia. This footnote would not have been allowed in that Quran without the approval of the Saudi government, so they must think it is OK to go to war for the purpose of spreading the religion of Islam.
    That doesn’t sound like a peaceful religion to me.

  2. Hi,I just wanted to say that there is a lot of way to see the Coran.And if you choose to see it that way so be it…But don’t judge…I talked to a jew who became muslum….Why?? Well he’s parents where so angry angainst muslum people that they learned arab,they read the Coran ,for after saying bad stuff about it.But this guy saw that it was just logical and he believed in it… Anyways…the reason i’m here is to show you a site : http://aztlan.net/berg_abu_ghraib_video.htm
    I hope with this site,you’ll stop blaming arabs,because between you and me, terrorist,wouldn’t film what they did…they never did it and i don’t think they ever will because they do that for themself…anyways thats my personal opinion…

  3. Why should I take your opinion seriously?
    Did you even read what I wrote? I’m blaming muslims for terrorism for very good reasons (I’ve even quantified them; re-read this post). Terrorists never film their brutality, you say? Wrong. Also, the Koran is full of holes (see here also).
    Why shouldn’t I judge? Some of your Islamic brethren have made a habit of committing evil on a grand scale. Surely you don’t expect me to mindlessly convert to your religion, just because you claim one Jew you know decided to convert? Big deal. I know muslims who converted to Christianity or became atheists.
    Here’s the clear-headed response to your conspiracy theories: http://www.intelwire.com/2004_05_20_exclusives.html
    Come back when you have evidence to support your claims.

  4. I would appreciate permission to reprint
    the ‘270 million suicide bombers’ article
    on the Think-Israel website (http://www.think-israel.org) in the current
    May-June issue.
    If you agree, could you supply an author name and
    a couple of sentences of bio?
    BTW: one of the links (to google) didn’t appear
    to be working.
    Bernice Lipkin

  5. “270 million suicide bombers”
    you claim there are 270 million potential suicide bombers because 270 million arabs support suicde bombings? That’s terribly incorrect. If 85% of the almost 300 millionAmericans support our soldiers…that means we have over 280 million potential US soldiers. See how flawed your logic is?
    Jeanne…people like you sicken me.

  6. Your objection fails to persuade. Soldiers must be young and fit, but suicide bombers need not be. In fact, the less a bomber resembles a young Arab male, the more likely it is that an attack will succeed. Any one of those 270 million is a potential suicide bomber.
    Let’s just say you’re right, though. What percentage of those 270 million people are males between the ages of 15 and 40? Quite a few.

  7. I have a very simple question to pose, concerning all this. First, look at yesterdays news, Car bombs kill and injure many iraqi’s that were trying to get jobs. Do you think a muslim or an American did this? No one should even have to ask. You know that it was a muslim “those people that say Islam is a religion of Peace” Now, these people are killing groups of their own people that were trying to get jobs with police departments so that they could do their part in restoring order to Iraq, which would in turn, get the American’s out even quicker. Now why would some bomber who hates American’s want to do that?? Shouldn’t they be wanting Iraq to be able to survive on its own?? Go back to the Nick Berg video. People are trying to say that it was not terrorists that committed this atrocity, but that it was American’s doing it to cover up the prison scandal. If the islamic terrorist did not do this and the video came out saying that some did,,,, Doesn’t anyone with common sense think that these terrorists would immediately step forward and say “No, we did not do that, it must be a hoax.” That did not happen either though did it. The people of Islam seem to have no problem killing anyone. The word “Infedil” seems to be used in every other sentence when Islam is concerned, and it is generally used on connection with “kill the infedils” No one in Islam has a problem killing, I also deal with muslims on a daily basis. I see the truth about who they are and it is truly sad. The difference between myself and what many in the western cultures are having to deal with is that a majority of muslims want to kill all the non believers, where I didn’t want to kill anyone, but have been placed in a position where I will do so to protect my family and my way of life. Sounds like holy war doesn’t it?
    Puddle,, I really appreciate the work you do to get information out to the masses. As far as the Jew turning to Islam, Wow!! I know a Catholic that bacame protestant and and baptist that became a methodist. I wonder??? Should that be reason to become a suicide bomber. Should I become a Protestant Bapist because of that??
    Open your eyes people. Islam wants Christianty eradicated from the earth. Just look in the Quran.
    Thanks for listening to my view point. It is so nice living in a country where I can express my view without worrying about someone coming to my house and killing me

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