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Nearly 60% of Muslim Americans Polled Say Hamas ‘Somewhat Justified’ in Israel Attack

More approve of Islamic leaders than President Biden.
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit. Courtesy of Rep. Rashida Tlaib's office
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit. Courtesy of Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s office

By: Bethany Blankley | The Center Square

As pro-Palestinian protestors descended on Austin and other cities over the weekend, following a “day-of-rage” protests last month, a new poll reveals that a majority of Muslim-Americans surveyed – 57.5% – think the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas “was justified in attacking Israel as part of their struggle for a Palestinian state.”

Hamas, the acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya (Islamic Resistance Movement), was designated by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997. “It is the largest and most capable militant group in the Palestinian territories and one of the territories’ two major political parties,” according to the National Counterterrorism Center.

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Michigan, who was recently censured by Congress for several comments she’s made, appears to be among them, maintaining that Hamas’ attack on Israel is “resistance” against the “apartheid state” of Israel.

Muslim Americans also expressed a higher opinion of Islamic leaders than of President Joe Biden, according to a general population survey conducted by Cygnal.

Only 31.9% of Muslim Americans polled expressed a favorable rating of Biden’s leadership. By comparison, 44% expressed support for Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas; 38.6% for Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh; 31.3% for Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei – all of whom have called for the annihilation of Israel and Jews.

The Islamic leaders have also called for death to Israel and to America. Iran’s leaders have long referred to the United States as “the great Satan” and to Israel as “the little Satan.”

The poll found that more Muslim Americans surveyed expressed support for the Democratic Party than the Republican Party by a margin of 31.1% to 25.2%, respectively. However, an analysis of the survey results indicates that “Muslims are more likely to be less supportive of the Democratic Party after the Hamas attack.”

The survey was conducted between Oct. 16 and 18 among 2,020 respondents. It has a 2.18% +/- margin of error.

The survey also found that 68.8% of American Muslims agree that “Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas’ attacks;” 69% said “the Palestinians in Gaza have legitimate grievances with Israel.”

When it comes to policy on how to achieve a resolution, 46.8% of American Muslims said, “Israel should invade Gaza and remove the Hamas leadership;” 75.8% said, “it is time for Israel to negotiate with Hamas to release the hostages.”

The survey was conducted as Republican governors like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have all expanded measures to support Israel and Jewish residents. Abbott and Stitt went to Israel expressing support; Florida is the only state to bring home Americans stranded in Israel, at least 700 so far. Several Republican-led states have purchased Israeli bonds to expand its liquidity.

Congress last week voted to censure Tlaib, a Palestinian-American who remains unapologetic for her support of the Hamas battle cry, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” She has argued, “From the river to the sea is an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate. My work and advocacy is always centered in justice and dignity for all people no matter faith or ethnicity.”

The preamble to the 1988 Hamas Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement includes the famous claim, “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it,’” made by the Egyptian Imam Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood.

Article 13 of the covenant states, “There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad,” referring to Islamic holy war. “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. … Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors,” according to the English translation published by Yale Law School.

Article 7 of the covenant states, “The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the links in the chain of the struggle against the Zionist invaders” and “aspires to the realisation of Allah's promise, no matter how long that should take.”

It also cites a well-known quote attributed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, as recorded in the Sunni Islamic Hadith Sahih Muslim: “Judgment Day will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Jews will hide behind the rocks and the trees, but the rocks and the trees will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him – except for the gharqad tree, which is one of the trees of the Jews,’” (Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6985), according to the English translation.

Sahih Muslim is one of six canonical texts that include a collection of the purported sayings and teachings of Muhammad, largely followed by Sunni Muslims. The Yale Law School translation provides a clarification explaining that the text calls for killing Jews.

Rep. Rich McCormick, R-Georgia, filed the resolution to censure Tlaib, which passed on Nov. 7, by a vote of 234-188. Tweny-two Democrats joined nearly all Republicans to censure her. Four members voted present; four Republicans voted against the resolution, including three from California; six members didn’t vote.

On the same day as the vote, White House National Security Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at a press briefing, “Hamas does have genocidal intentions against the people of Israel. They’d like to see it wiped off the map. They’ve said so on purpose. That’s what’s at stake here.”

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