On October 20, 2023, the polling company Cygnal released a report on Americans’ views about the early October Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. The report was titled Survey of General Population: Israel -Hamas Awareness and Attitudes. The survey presented the same questions to six different groups: Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans, Evangelicals, Republicans, Independents, and Democrats, with the results being shown for each.
One of the disturbing results of this survey came in response to this question:
Below you will read a list of names of various people mentioned in the news recently. For each one, please indicate if you have heard of the person, and if you have, whether you have a favorable or unfavorable impression of the person. If you don’t recognize a name, choose so.
The name given was Ismail Haniyeh, a senior Hamas leader, and 38.6% of Muslim Americans had a favorable impression of him (of the other five groups, the closest favorable rating came from Democrats at 14.9%). There are an estimated 3.45 million Muslim Americans in the United States. This survey indicates that around 1.3 million Muslim Americans have a favorable impression of Haniyeh.
This is disturbing for two reasons. On October 8, 1997, the United States designated Hamas as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. And in January 2018, the U.S. State Department designated Ismail Haniyeh as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
This favorable impression of Haniyeh was not due to a lack of information among Muslim Americans. The survey showed that when asked how closely they had followed events in Israel since the attack by Hamas on October 7th (“Hamas Awareness”), 30.9% of Muslim Americans responded “Somewhat Closely,” and 44.9% responded “Very Closely.”
When asked about being informed with regard to “Fatah, Hamas and Palestinian politics,” 65.4% of Muslim Americans considered themselves “Informed,” and 7.3% considered themselves “Expert.”
The survey showed that Muslim Americans were also aware of the following events regarding the October 7th attack by Hamas:
- “Over 1,200 people were killed in Israel, including women, infants, the elderly, and Holocaust survivors.” Very Aware: 36.4%, and Somewhat Aware: 41.9%
- “Over 250 people who were attending an all-night music festival were killed in Israel.” Very Aware: 33.7%, and Somewhat Aware: 42.7%
- “Over 100 people, including women and young children, were abducted from Israel and are being held hostage in Gaza.” Very Aware: 36.9%, and Somewhat Aware: 44.4%
- “Hamas militants decapitated young children during their attack in Israel.” Very Aware: 25.9%, and Somewhat Aware: 40%
So despite the extent of the knowledge among Muslim Americans about the above incidents, around 1.3 million Muslim Americans still had a favorable impression of Haniyeh, and by inference, HAMAS. It would have been very interesting to see the results if Cygnal had asked the Muslim Americans their opinions on the above incidents.
Another disturbing result came from the same question about favorability being asked, but this time the name was Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. He is a man with whom the chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” are closely associated. 31.3% of Muslim Americans had a favorable impression of Khamenei (of the other five groups, the closest favorable rating came from Democrats at 15.9%). So a little over one million Muslim Americans have a favorable impression of Khamenei.
Just as disturbing was the response to this question:
The Biden administration acknowledges that Hamas is nothing but a proxy for Iran and is funded and supported by Iran. Would you be more or less likely to vote for a political candidate who supports releasing billions of dollars in frozen assets for Iran to use any way it chooses?
32.6% of Muslim Americans were “More Likely” to vote for such a candidate (of the other five groups, the closest “More Likely” rating came from Democrats at 18.6%).
28.3% of Muslim Americans were “More Likely” to “vote for a political candidate who supports allowing Iran to evade sanctions and earn billions of dollars from oil sales” (of the other five groups, the closest “More Likely” rating came from Democrats at 15.9%).
And 44.7% of Muslim Americans support the recent pro-Palestinian protests and demonstrations across multiple cities in the United States (of the other five groups, the closest “Support” rating came from Democrats at 25.2%).
The results of this survey show a generally inverse relationship between the responses of Muslim Americans and the responses of the other five groups. In theory, there is nothing wrong with public differences in opinion, and that is one of the freedoms we cherish in the United States. However, it is a different matter when survey results reveal one group’s massive support for a global terrorist (and by inference, the foreign terrorist organization that he heads), massive support for the leader of a terrorist-supporting country in which the chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” are regular features, and massive support for that particular country to evade sanctions and receive billions of dollars in frozen assets to be used anyway that country chooses.
I have already shown in my book Islamic Doctrine versus the U.S. Constitution: The Dilemma for Muslim Public Officials, that core tenets of Islamic Doctrine are in direct, irreconcilable conflict with the United States Constitution. The attitudes and beliefs of around one million or more Muslim Americans regarding terrorists and the support of terrorists shown in this survey raise serious questions about the security of the United States. This is especially so when considering that in fiscal year 2023, the Border Patrol encountered and released over 900,000 illegal aliens into the United States, and also estimated that during that same time period there were over 600,000 unidentified “gotaways” who had evaded the Border Patrol and entered the United States. How many are unidentifed HAMAS or Iranian terrorists, and what kind of welcome might they be receiving?
Dr. Stephen M. Kirby is the author of six books about Islam. His latest book is Islamic Doctrine versus the U.S. Constitution: The Dilemma for Muslim Public Officials.
EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.
 Stephen M. Kirby, Islamic Doctrine versus the U.S. Constitution: The Dilemma for Muslim Public Officials (Washington D.C.: Center for Security Policy Press, 2019). A PDF copy of this book is available for download at https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Kirby_Islamic_Doctrine.pdf.
 Adam Shaw, “Mayorkas confirms over 600,000 illegal immigrants evaded law enforcement at southern border last fiscal year,” Fox News, October 31, 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mayorkas-confirms-over-600k-illegal-immigrants-evaded-law-enforcement-southern-border.