In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, President Obama claimed that 99.9% of Muslims reject radical Islam. (H/T Daniel Halper of The Weekly Standard):
But it is absolutely true that I reject a notion that somehow that creates a religious war because the overwhelming majority of Muslims reject that interpretation of Islam. They don’t even recognize it as being Islam, and I think that for us to be successful in fighting this scourge, it’s very important for us to align ourselves with the 99.9 percent of Muslims who are looking for the same thing we’re looking for–order, peace, prosperity.
This is nonsense on stilts. Daniel Pipes has long argued that between 10 to 15% of Muslims subscribe to radical Islam. Pipes uses the term Islamist to describe this 10 to 15%. By this, Pipes means Muslims who want the establishment of an Islamic caliphate which would impose Shariah law. Not all of these Muslims necessarily support terrorism to bring this about, but a large number certainly do. Here is what Pipes wrote about Islamism back in June 1998 more than three years ago before the September 11th attacks and just over a month before the attacks on our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania:
Islamism is an ideology that demands man’s complete adherence to the sacred law of Islam and rejects as much as possible outside influence, with some exceptions (such as access to military and medical technology). It is imbued with a deep antagonism towards non-Muslims and has a particular hostility towards the West. It amounts to an effort to turn Islam, a religion and civilization, into an ideology.
The Pew Research Center estimates there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world comprising 23% of the global population. It won’t be long before 1 out of every 4 people in the entire world is Muslim. Let us for argument’s sake take the conservative end of Pipes’ estimate on the numbers who are Islamists. That’s 160 million Muslims who believe Sharia law should rule the world and good many of those 160 million are willing to bring this about by force. That is more than the population of the U.K. and France combined and more than of half the U.S. population. It’s a critical mass. Those numbers are simply too large for President Obama to dismiss so casually.