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By Philippe Legrain 7 COMMENTS

Amid all the hysteria among Muslims in Western societies, many people seem to think that every Muslim is a potential terrorist. The gap between prejudice and reality is huge.  

A new survey of attitudes in Norway, for instance, shows that Norwegians’  idea of
what Muslims think is very different from what they actually think.

While Norwegians thought that only 38% of local Muslims wanted to
integrate into Norwegian
society, 93% of Muslims in Norway said that
they wanted to. Read more on Johan Norberg’s blog

Posted 25 Oct 2007 in Blog
  1. Mikko says:

    Now this reminds me of something. Have you noticed how the people opposing immigration tend to point out that muslim/black/whatever immigrants commit crime x times more than the general populace, or that they are potential terrorists.
    For some curious reason, I have never seen them point out how large portion of immigrants of their favorite kind commit crimes or terrorism. Knowing those figures would most likely help convincing people that it is a bad idea to refuse someone in just because he is black/muslim/whatever. (I have not seen numbers, but my assumption is that it is still way less than people think). n

  2. stuart says:

    My reaction is that the different groups probably have different ideas of what constitutes “integration”. The norwegians probably think, “act just like us” while the muslims think, “get a job, make friends etc, but still eat different, worship different etc.”
    So long as they don’t think suicide bombing is cool, I’d go for the second option.

  3. Tolga says:

    Being born into both Turkish and Australian blood, but growing up in Europe as well as Australia, I do find that people’s opinions or reactions immediately change when they find out that I am “Muslim”.
    I do not practice the religion, never have and probably never will, neither have my parents. The only thing that states that I am actually Muslim is my Turkish ID. Despite this and despite being asked where I come from in Turkey due to my accent, when I tell non-Muslims I am Muslim on paper, there is always a surprise.
    Unfortunately non-Muslims do believe that most Muslims are terrorists. Once again the majority of a population is effected by the minority that causes the harm.
    ps. Philippe Legrain, analyzing your article, ‘Migrant Nation’ was quite a joy for me, and learning to see that you’re not just another boring economist/journalist/writer who still manages to include personal hobbies and interests such as your favourite DJ’s is definitely a change! Keep it up mate!

  4. stuart says:

    “Unfortunately non-Muslims do believe that most Muslims are terrorists.”
    this is one of the craziest things I’ve ever read.
    How bout turning that around: Most Muslims believe that non-muslims believe that most muslims are terrorists (not my position, but more plausible in my view).

  5. Haroon says:

    There exists some, not all, Muslims that are ignorant of their religion, there also exists some, not all, non-Muslims that are also ignorant of what Islam is and who Muslims are.
    That is why it is easy for Athiests, Islamaphobes, Agraphobes etc to try and bunch us all together because aparently we all believe in Allah.
    For instance how many people know that within Islam Muslims are classified into one of three groups? Thats right not everyone who says they are Muslim is viewed and treated the same by God. These three groups are namely
    1) Muslim=anyone who says that there is no god except Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger, whether that Muslim individual still does wrong acts or not, like having sex outside of marriage, selling drugs or committing acts of violence. It is hard to call such individuals Muslim when their is no regreat or asking of forgiveness by that person for their actions and when these actions are done boastfully or repeatedly over a long period of time. So even though they are seen as Muslims or called Muslims in this world they are punishable by the same God that they worship in the hereafter for their wrongdoings.
    2) Mumin= a Muslim who also declares that their is no god worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is His messenger but the behaviour of a Muslim who is Mumin (a better believer than a mere Muslim) excels that of someone who says they are Muslim.
    3) The last category is that of Muhsin (the near perfect believer). Like the previous two types of Muslim they too declare the same faith but this persons behaviour is that of a good Muslim and a good believer who has neared perfecting the art of being a human being.
    The level of ultimate perfection is reserved for God. So dont be too surprised when you see people calling themselves Muslim doing things contrary to the laws of Islam. This failing is a human thing and not the preserve of just one type of people who espouse similair beliefs. In England people break tax laws all the time even though they know the law. People steal and lie even thought they know it is wrong, and people were being killed and murdered even before 7/7. And just for the record I was and still am against the attrocities of 7/7 and 9/11 and, Allah forbid,any future attrocity the like of what has happened around the world in the name of Islam and Muslims.
    Of the above categories which would I put myself in? I would say that I am a Muslim, striving to be Muhsin. I dont do drugs or violence. Peace.

  6. apf83 says:

    “Unfortunately non-Muslims do believe that most Muslims are terrorists”
    A bit of a sweeping generalisation there fella? Just the sort of sweeping generalisation that you’re getting annoyed with!

  7. Tom says:

    There are Muslim extremists, and there are Muslims.
    Please don’t confuse the two.
    I have a Muslim friend who is one of the nicest people I have ever met.

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