Caught this bit of CNNonsense in the OR lounge this morning. This is the full clip, starting with a review of a finding from a Pew poll, and leading to an interview with Deepak Chopra discussing ... aw, heck, I don't even know what he was discussing. I stopped listening after a minute or two. Focus for a minute on the question in the Pew poll.
"Do you think Islam is more likely than other faiths to encourage violence against non-believers?"
In response to that question 46% answered "yes," that Islam is more likely than other faiths to encourage violence against non-believers. Shouldn't that number be much higher? Think logically for a second. First, since the faith itself doesn't speak we have to look at leaders and their interpretations. Do any Islamic leaders - any at all, now, located anywhere in the world - advocate violence against non-believers? The answer is obviously yes. Think of the Taliban, for one prime example. Second, can you think of any other representative in any faith - Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Jew - that advocates violence against non-believers specifically because of their status as a non-believer? I could be wrong, but my answer there is "no." Therefore, since the answer to the first part of the construct is "yes" and to the second is "no" Islam would be more likely to encourage violence against non-believers.
Now, that's not to say that a majority, or even a sizable minority of adherents advocate violence against non-believers in Islam. "More likely" is comparative, not absolute. But if 2%, 1% or even 0.002% of the more radicalized Islamists believe and advocate violence and the comparison is to 0% for other faiths, that would be more likely. And I'd feel a lot better about Islam if terrorists stopped acting in its name, and if the Danish cartoonists and Molly Norris of "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day" fame didn't have to fear for their lives, and particularly if the peaceful leaders issued unqualified denunciations. But they don't.
CNN and Deepak Chopra, who was really there promoting his new book, would rather you not make such a rational assessment of the question. Instead, Mr. Chopra rather slickly turns the construct around, stating that this poll demonstrates a consciously-taken misperception of Islam, held so that violence against Muslims can be justified.
No, really. I kid you not. That's when I stopped listening. That's an astonishing misdirection and misrepresentation for an allegedly clear thinker.