In the news business, it's called burying the lead.What, of course, the poll does not ask Canadian Muslims is, when is violent Jihad justified, if ever? and, if push ever comes to shove, is your ultimate loyalty to the Umma and to dreams of a renewed Islamic Caliphate, or to the Western-led global free market system that maximizes human reciprocity and the freedom to criticize anachronistic forms of the sacred?
It means you missed the most important or interesting part of a story and led with something less significant.
On Feb. 13, the CBC published and aired the results of an Environics poll, which on their website was billed as "Glad to be Canadian, Muslims say."
Apparently "more than 80% of Canada's roughly 700,000 Muslims are broadly satisfied with their lives here."
That's a nice and cuddly kind of story, but hardly surprising. I've been to Afghanistan -- where many of Canada's latest Muslim population comes from -- and even the upper-middle class in Afghanistan live in difficult conditions.
Waaaay down in the online CBC story about this poll is the news that when "asked about the arrests last summer of the 18 Muslim men and boys who were allegedly plotting terrorist attacks in southern Ontario, 73% of Muslim respondents said these attacks were not at all justified." That portion of the poll ended there. No more details. Why? The Environics website made no mention about this portion of the poll either.
However, on CBC's The National television program on the same day, this part of the poll was fleshed-out and the results are alarming.
Fully 12% of Muslim Canadians polled by Environics said the alleged terrorist plot -- that included kidnapping and beheading the prime minister and blowing up Parliament and the CBC -- was justified.
Predictably, the CBC managed to find a talking head -- in this case York University sociology professor Haideh Moghissi -- who dismissed this disturbing revelation.
"It's really negligible that 12 percent feel that the attacks would be justified," said Moghissi. "I don't think it even warrants attention."
Clearly, other news agencies and those who put the poll results on the CBC website agree with Moghissi.
But just how "negligible" is 12% of 700,000 people.
Well, if Moghissi knew arithmetic like she knows denial, she'd know if this poll is accurate, 84,000 Canadian Muslims think it's justifiable to behead our democratically elected prime minister and blow up the very symbol and centre of our democracy!
The Environics poll interviewed 500 Canadian Muslims and 2,045 members of the general population between Nov. 30 and Jan. 5 and is said to be accurate within 4.4 percentage points with regard to the Muslim respondents and 2.2 points with the larger sample group 19 times out of 20
In other words, the Environics poll indicates anywhere between 49,000 to 84,000 Muslim Canadians likely would view attacks on our oilsands development justifiable, and if that's the case, it's safe to assume some portion of those tens of thousands of people might be prone to carrying out such an attack.
We already know calls to martyrdom and jihad have been made from Canadian mosques, including one in B.C. and the one in Ontario the 18 alleged wanna-be beheaders attended. It's safe to assume there are more.
But, hey, this is Canada, where in the interest of political correctness and fear of offending, the lead on these kinds of stories gets buried and our heads remain planted where there is no illumination and therefore, no truth.
I find it a little disconcerting that we still have MSM columnists writing breathlessly that calls for martyrdom and jihad can be heard in Canadian mosques! Do they think any of these are places where, say, Israel and America are treated with reverence or at least the honesty and respect that is their due, and that Canada will remain beyond reproach in mosques and Islamic centres as long as we have a Prime Minister who promotes our friendship with those two countries and leads us to war in Afghanistan? Does Ms. Corbella have any reason to disagree with her colleague, Spengler of the Asia Times, that Jihad is a sacrament that is as central to Islam as Holy Communion to Catholics, and that if many Muslims are themselves unwilling to act violently in the name of Jihad, they would have a hard time completely disowning sympathy for the idea in some situations, given the prevalence of representations of Jihad as violent in Islamic holy texts?
Surely it is better for all concerned if a frank and honest debate on such issues is conducted sooner rather than later in this country, that all Muslim leaders be asked, insistently, to show beyond reasonable doubt that in this country there is a coherent and widely followed Islamic theology that has broken with violent Jihad and with Islam's traditional assimilation of politics and religion. If that can't be done, Muslim immigration needs to be restricted, and mosques and other Islamic centres need to be licensed, regulated, and in some cases shut down. But for that to happen, we might first have to retire the CBC and sundry academic apologists for the more violent forms of sacrality, both Islamic and secular leftist.