Emerson Claims "At Least Thirty to Forty Percent" of All Muslims Support Terrorism

Anti-Muslim extremists and dominionists have been finding a lot of common ground lately. We’ve already reported that Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy is becoming tight with Rick Joyner of the Oak Initiative. It was no surprise, then, to see anti-Muslim activist Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism speaking to Truth in Action Ministries’ Truth that Transforms with Jerry Newcombe yesterday. Until recently, Truth in Action was known as Coral Ridge Ministries, a far-right group led by the late D. James Kennedy, whose former executive director was dominionst George Grant. Emerson, discussing Muslims, told Newcombe:

If I had to guess, based on what I know, based on my experience and this is all anecdotal, I would say to you at least thirty to forty percent support cultural jihad. That is, at least, they support the notion that it’s ok to blow up a bus of Israelis, it’s ok to bomb the World Trade Center, it’s ok to impose the Sharia, the code of Islamic law, it’s ok to beat women or wives, as part of the Sharia.

According to the Pew Research Center, there are around 1.57 billion Muslims in the world. That means Emerson thinks there are between 471 million and 628 million Muslims who support terrorist attacks. In 2008, AFP reported on a Gallup poll of approximately 50,000 Muslims in forty countries, finding that support for terrorism was marginal, with 93% condemning the 9/11 attacks:

But the study, which Gallup says surveyed a sample equivalent to 90 percent of the world's Muslims, showed that widespread religiosity "does not translate into widespread support for terrorism," said Mogahed, director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies.

About 93 percent of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims are moderates and only seven percent are politically radical, according to the poll, based on more than 50,000 interviews.



But only seven percent of the billion Muslims surveyed -- the radicals -- condoned the attacks on the United States in 2001, the poll showed. Moderate Muslims interviewed for the poll condemned the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington because innocent lives were lost and civilians killed.

This isn’t the first time Emerson has made up statistics to demonize Muslims. Before Peter King’s congressional hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims, Emerson twisted figures from the Department of Justice to dishonestly hype the threat of homegrown Muslim terrorism, and FAIR notes that Emerson once tried, and failed, to pass off his own phony research as an FBI document to the Associated Press:

In 1997, for example, an Associated Press editor became convinced that Emerson was the "mother lode of terrorism information," according to a reporter who worked on a series that looked at American Muslim groups. As a consultant on the series, Emerson presented AP reporters with what were "supposed to be FBI documents" describing mainstream American Muslim groups with alleged terrorist sympathies, according to the project's lead writer, Richard Cole. One of the reporters uncovered an earlier, almost identical document authored by Emerson. The purported FBI dossier "was really his," Cole says. "He had edited out all phrases, taken out anything that made it look like his."

The Tennessean found that scapegoating Muslims has been a lucrative venture for Emerson: in 2008, the Investigative Project on Terrorism “paid $3,390,000 to SAE Productions for ‘management services.’ Emerson is SAE's sole officer.”