Of course an exercise comparing Muslim fundamentalism and Christian fundamentalism is silly. We never hear of pious Christians slaughtering non-Christians in the name of Jesus Christ. In the Muslim world, it is an all too often a daily occurrence. But even so, this survey is revealing in what it tells us about the "moderates" the West so desperately wants to believe in.
And the survey says...
In the heated controversies over immigration and Islam in the early 21 st century, Muslims have widely become associated in media debates and the popular imagery with religious fundamentalism. Against this, others have argued that religiously fundamentalist ideas are found among only a small minority of Muslims living in the West, and that religious fundamentalism can equally be found among adherents of other religions, including Christianity.
However, claims on both sides of this debate lack a sound empirical base because very little is known about the extent of religious fundamentalism among Muslim immigrants, and virtually no evidence is available that allows a comparison with native......
"Muslim Immigrants and Christian Natives in Western Europe" By Ruud KoopmansKoopmans’ paper is based on a WBZ-funded survey of 9000 respondents “with a Turkish or Moroccan immigration background” living in six Western countries; Germany, France, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Austria. Note that Turkey and Morocco are not known as hotbeds of Muslim extremism. There was also a Christian control group described in the survey paper. Although I’m not a sociologist, the study seems to me to have been well designed and controlled, with possible contaminating factors considered and statistically investigated. Two sets of questions were asked (indented matter from the paper):1. Questions about the degree of fundamentalismFollowing the widely accepted definition of fundamentalism of Bob Altermeyer and Bruce Hunsberger, the fundamentalism belief system is defined by three key elements:- that believers should return to the eternal and unchangeable rules laid down in the
- that these rules allow only one interpretation and are binding for all believers;
- that religious rules have priority over secular laws.These aspects of fundamentalism were measured by the following survey items that were asked to those native respondents who indicated that they were Christians (70%), and to those respondents of Turkish and Moroccan origin who indicated they were Muslims (96%):“Christians [Muslims] should return to the roots of Christianity [Islam].”“There is only one interpretation of the Bible [the Koran] and every Christian [Muslim] must
stick to that.”“The rules of the Bible [the Koran] are more important to me than the laws of [survey country].”Here are the disquieting results:60% of Turkish and Moroccan Muslim immigrants want a return to the faith’s religious roots (as opposed to 20% of Christians); 75% think only one interpretation of the Qur’an is possible (as opposed to about 17% of Christians surveyed vis-a-vis the Bible); and 65% of the Muslims say that scriptural rules are more important than the laws of the country where they live (only about 12% of Christian countrymen agreed). Overall, 44% of Muslims agreed with all three statements, as opposed to fewer than 4% of Christians. In other words, there’s an alarmingly high level of fundamentalism among Islamic residents of these countries—a level far exceeding that of Christian fundamentalism. And remember, migrants from more “extreme” Islamic countries weren’t surveyed.