How do American Muslims feel about the war in Afghanistan? Do American Muslims want to see a strong U.S. force in Afghanistan that can decisively defeat the Taliban? Or do American Muslims want U.S. troops out of Afghanistan now?

Eight years after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. has failed to defeat the Taliban (partly because the Bush Administration focused on Iraq, not Afghanistan), and the American public is tiring of the war in Afghanistan. New polls show that most Americans now think the war in Afghanistan is not worth fighting, and they don’t want to send more American troops to Afghanistan to finish the job.

After 9/11, the Bush Administration blamed Al Qaeda for the 9/11 attacks, and blamed the Taliban government in Afghanistan for providing a base for Al Qaeda. The U.S. then invaded Afghanistan, overthrew the Taliban government, helped set up and support an elected Afghan government, and continued to fight Taliban forces.

Now, eight years later, there are 60,000 American troops in Afghanistan, but they are spread thin in some regions, and they cannot hold on to territory. The Afghan police and army are developing very slowly. The Obama Administration warns that the Taliban are taking back territory and making a serious comeback.

The Obama Administration is considering sending more American troops to Afghanistan in order to defeat the Taliban and to support the elected Afghan government.

U.S. officials warn that if the Taliban retake Afghanistan, then Al Qaeda would again have a stable base from which to plot attacks against targets inside the U.S. In addition, U.S. officials warn that the Taliban and Al Qaeda would be in a better position to expand their control and influence into other parts of Asia.

Many Afghans, and the Taliban, believe the U.S. will eventually abandon Afghanistan, just as the U.S. abandoned Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal, opening the door to a Taliban takeover in the 1990s.

How do American Muslims feel about the war in Afghanistan? Do American Muslims want to see a strong U.S. force in Afghanistan that can decisively defeat the Taliban? Or do American Muslims want U.S. troops out of Afghanistan now?

American Muslims And Afghanistan

American Muslims are a unique American community when it comes to the issue of Afghanistan. While most Americans supported the American invasion of Afghanistan, most American Muslims believed the invasion was unjustified. In addition, many American Muslims feel a religious connection to the Afghan people, as fellow Muslims.

American Muslims’ Differing Views Regarding The Pre-9/11 Taliban

• Some American Muslims believe that, before 9/11, the Taliban were making a sincere effort to establish an Islamic state based on their conservative understanding of Islamic law. They also believe that the Taliban gave sanctuary to Al Qaeda based on the Taliban’s understanding that Al Qaeda were sincere Muslims.

• Some American Muslims believe that the Taliban were evil oppressors or ignorant Muslims who were misinterpreting Islam to justify a power grab.

American Muslims’ Differing Views Regarding 9/11

• Some American Muslims believe that no Muslims were involved in 9/11, and that the U.S. or Israeli government carried out the 9/11 attacks, in order to justify the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

• Some American Muslims believe that a group of Muslims were involved in 9/11, but the U.S. government knew about the plan ahead of time and permitted 9/11 to happen, in order to justify the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

• Some American Muslims believe that a group of Muslims were involved in 9/11, and the U.S. government had no prior knowledge of the planned attack.

• Some American Muslims believe that 9/11 was an act of self-defense/deterrence by a group of Muslims who were striking back at America for (1) America’s support for oppressive dictatorships in the Muslim world, (2) America’s support for Israel over the Palestinians, and (3) America’s direct military involvement in the Muslim world (e.g. in Iraq during and after the Gulf War) and America’s ongoing military presence in the Muslim world (e.g. in Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War).

• Some American Muslims believe that 9/11 was an unjustified crime committed by a group of misguided Muslims.

American Muslims’ Differing Views Of The American Invasion Of Afghanistan In 2001

• Some American Muslims believe the American invasion of Afghanistan was unjustified, because they believe Afghanistan and Muslims had no connection to 9/11. They believe the American invasion of Afghanistan was part of an American plot to dominate the Muslim world.

• Some American Muslims believe the American invasion of Afghanistan was unjustified, because they believe the U.S. should have just attacked territory held by Al Qaeda, rather than overthrowing the Taliban government and trying to restructure the whole country.

• Some American Muslims believe the American invasion of Afghanistan was unjustified, because the U.S. has not succeeded in creating a peaceful, stable Afghanistan even after eight years.

• Some American Muslims believe the American invasion of Afghanistan was justified, because they believe the Taliban were wrong to continue to protect Al Qaeda after 9/11.

• Some American Muslims believe the American invasion of Afghanistan was justified, because they believe that keeping Al Qaeda on the run has prevented Al Qaeda from successfully launching another attack inside the U.S.

• Some American Muslims believe the American invasion of Afghanistan was justified, because they opposed the Taliban’s interpretation of Islamic law and policies towards women.

American Muslims’ Differing Views Of The Future Of The American Military Mission In Afghanistan

• Some American Muslims want America to invest heavily in Afghanistan, and to do whatever is necessary to defeat the Taliban and establish a democracy in Afghanistan. They fear that a quick American withdrawal, or an inadequate American military commitment to Afghanistan, will result in a bloody civil war resulting in a Taliban victory and a return to oppressive Taliban rule. They also fear the establishment of a safe haven for Al Qaeda to plot attacks against targets inside America.

• Some American Muslims want American troops out of Afghanistan immediately, because they want to see an end to the Afghan civilian death toll.

• Some American Muslims want American troops out of Afghanistan immediately, because they believe the U.S. cannot win in Afghanistan, and they want the U.S. to cut its losses of American blood and treasure.

• Some American Muslims want American troops out of Afghanistan immediately, because they want to see the re-establishment of a Taliban-style Islamic state in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region.

• Some American Muslims want American troops out of Afghanistan immediately, because they want to see the establishment of a base for Muslims who can protect the Muslim world from outside domination.

• Some American Muslims want American troops out of Afghanistan immediately, because they don’t want non-Muslim troops on any Muslim land.

• Some American Muslims want American troops out of Afghanistan immediately, because they don’t want the U.S. to be at war with Muslims anywhere in the world.

American Muslims’ Lack Of Involvement In The National Debate About Afghanistan

Despite their strong feelings about the above-mentioned issues, most grassroots American Muslims are likely to opt out of the national discussion about America’s role in Afghanistan. Due to a lack of knowledge about the issues, and a resulting lack of confidence, most American Muslims will not call their congressman, write letters to the editor of their local newspaper, or call in to their local talk radio shows to share their views about America’s role in Afghanistan. Therefore, the U.S. government will make its decisions about Afghanistan without the benefit of American Muslim input.

Previous Polling Regarding American Muslim Views On The Afghan War There is a lot of anecdotal evidence available about American Muslim views on the Afghan War. In addition, the following polls have been done about American Muslim views on the Afghan War.

A 2002 Hamilton College/Zogby International poll found that 51% of Muslims in America believed the invasion of Afghanistan was justified.

A 2004 Georgetown University/Zogby International poll found that 35% of American Muslims supported the Afghanistan war.

A 2006 Muslims For A Safe America poll found that 17% of American Muslims believe that America was justified in invading Afghanistan after 9/11.

A 2007 Pew Research Center poll found that 35% of Muslims in America supported the decision to go to war in Afghanistan.

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10 Responses to Do American Muslims Think The Afghan War Is Worth Fighting?
  1. the war in Afgan. is to keep the miltairy industail complex incontrol of the US ecemeny. we need to get out of the war buiness.
    our needs at home far out reach any attach problems from over seas.

  2. Abu Noor Al-Irlandee September 3, 2009 at 8:05 pm Reply

    Jazzak Allaahu Khayr for addressing this important issue.

    First off, I feel that all U.S. troops should withdraw immediately from Afghanistan and that the invasion was never justified in the first place.

    Public opinion surveys conducted during the Bush administration showed that most American Muslims shared these views.

    I think many American Muslims, and most especially Muslim leadership or Muslims in the public sphere are hesitant to be very vocal about Afghanistan because either they oppose the war but support Obama and so are hesitant to be critical of Obama, or they support the war but realize that many of the grassroots American Muslim community would be upset with them if they spoke in favor of the war, or they oppose the war and always opposed the war but are afraid this position will get them labelled as radicals or as sympathetic to the Taliban.

  3. I fear that Mr. Obama has fallen into a bad situation and that he doesn’t know how to get out of it. What bothers me is how he campaigned with promises to bring the troops home from Iraq (and they are still there!)and instead, he seems now to be as ‘Bushey’ as the ex-Pres!
    We MUST GET OUT OF AFGHANISTAN! And, we must get out, completely out, of Iraq. And, the U.S. Gov’t must speak much more directly and unequivocally about the illegal Israeli settlements! The whole “Middle East Policy” needs serious re-thinking!

  4. Look, it’s pretty clear that Al-Qaeda was involved in 9/11, and I am tired of all the conspiracy theories floating around in our community. I’m even sicker of people who speak out of one side of their mouths regarding the Islamic rights of women – and then support the Taliban whose treatment of women is Pashtunwali, and not Islamic. Make up your minds, Brothers – because it isn’t just non-Muslims who think that we have a tendency to lie whenever it is to our advantage.

  5. Further point – anytime the Israelis wish to justify a settlement, all they have to do is point at Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. You wouldn’t believe how many pro-Zionist Christians listen to the nonsense coming out of Tel Aviv on how the Israelis are protecting Muslim women from Muslim men.

  6. I do not believe in the conspiracy theory. 9/11 act was done by a very small group of people who did not like American policy in the Middle East.
    In regard to US involvement in Afghanistan, there does not seem to be any military solution to this conflict. Our policy should be reconstruction of the country’s civilian, defense, and law & order infrastructure/agencies and establishing a viable government representing all sections of the Afghan society. A political settlement is needed here.

  7. America made a blunder by military involvement in Afghanistan. Now it is in no-win situation. However, its aid is needed for Pakistan as well as Afghanistan to control the extremists in their countries. America has not learnt its lesson in Vietnam. The only way America can win is by winning the hearts and minds of the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  8. Muslims For A Safe Ummah September 18, 2009 at 8:46 pm Reply

    Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

    Muslims For A Safe Ummah.
    The following is not intended to give any fatwa or opinion on Islam or Islamic jurisprudence in any way, for I am not qualified to do as much. The following is however, a critical analysis and explanation of my views of the U.S. legal system and citizenship. The determination is the reader’s alone whether what I claim about the U.S. citizenship conflicts with requirements of Islam upon Muslims.
    U.S. citizenship may be acquired by being born within the U.S. territory or qualifying protectorates, by naturalization, or through descent. In basic terms, U.S. citizens whether they care to admit it or not, are engaged in an agreement with the U.S. federal government. This agreements gives the citizen benefits but also demands in return certain duties and obligations. U.S. citizens enjoy the right to live within the United States territory and conduct business and to be protected by laws and police and military installations. In return for this right, U.S. citizens implicitly or explicitly(if naturalized) agree to uphold the constitution, to take up arms for the U.S. federal government if called upon(with some exceptions) among other things. Importantly, U.S. citizens also agree to pay income tax to the federal government if they earn more than a certain amount of money in a given year. These are serious obligations and there is no freedom to escape these obligations. If a citizen does not pay income taxed owed and is caught the citizen faces the possibility of imprisonment. If a citizen dodges a military draft that might be in effect they also would likely face adverse consequences.
    The U.S. constitution guarantees U.S. citizens certain rights, although what exactly of these rights are is not exactly clear. Also, experience and history demonstrate that in reality these rights are not universally respected or enforced especially with respect to certain groups of citizens. The rights of non-citizens and non-permanent residents with respect to the U.S. federal government is even less clear. Without getting into an unnecessary discussion of who are what controls the U.S. government, and what agenda/interests are being pursued by its policy, I will instead mention several facts. The U.S. government is currently, through its military engaged in military confrontations with a number of nations, groups or other types of entities. Some of these entities are made up of Muslims, some are not. I will not comment on whether any of these conflicts are justified, either in the Islamic moral system or in other moral systems. These military operations require resources and while I do not have any figures(if someone could provide a reliable source with these figures it would be helpful), it is my impression that some portion of the income taxes or other tax sources collected by the federal government are used to fund these operations.
    By living within the U.S. both citizens and non-citizens enjoy a relatively peaceful zone that is made possible by the military and police presence. This peace and security is not evenly distributed however and certain areas are relatively unprotected by the federal or local authorities and so parallel and “illicit” law systems develop in this areas. These systems are often violent and harsh and harm the inhabitants of these areas more than anyone else. Despite this, the relative security in the nation at large allows for sophisticated trade, contractual, and property relationships and transactions to take place. While I also do not have empirical data to demonstrate this, it is my impression that the United States(through its citizens) enjoys a share of resources from the world outside of its borders which are gotten through means which may violate the norms of Islamic moral system as well as other moral systems. For example. if representatives of the United States engage in agreements with representatives of foreign nations using force, threat of force or bribery or a combination of such means, this may violate the guidelines of Islamic moral values as well as the moral values of other systems. While I believe the U.S. government does in engage in such practices at least in some degree through the research I have done, I will not attempt to persuade the reader that this is the case, and will leave it up to them to decide
    Also, The United States federal government has engaged in a number of practices historically that might violate the moral values and rules of the Islamic moral system or other moral systems, and the benefits of these practices have passed on through succession to the modern day recipients, i.e. U.S. citizens. A well documented and well known example is the theft of land and other aggressive practices towards the various groups of people that are commonly and collectively referred to as “American Indians” or “Native Americans”.

    In conclusion, I assert that we as Muslims should thoroughly examine whether the benefits and duties that come along with U.S. citizenship conflict with what Islam requires and demands of us. And we must consider whether the consequences of losing or otherwise limiting our citizenship outweighs the punishment of hellfire if these demands and benefits of citizenship indeed conflict with the demands and benefits of being a Muslim.

  9. We were born in America and most people love it here or they did. Now it has changed,people that come here are suppose to have a background check before allowed into our America and pay to become a citizen of the United States and speak our English AND PLEDGE OUR FLAG AND SING OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM,BUT IT SEEMS AS THE PRESIDENT TODAY DON’T LIKE THESE,AND HE DIDN’T WANT TO WEAR OUR FLAG PIN EITHER AND HE RUNS US DOWN . WE THE PEOPLE DON’T WANT WARS IT’S OUR PRESIDENTS THAT STICK THEIR NOSE INTO OTHERS PROBLEMS,WE WANT OUR LOVED ONES HERE AND TAKE CARE OF OUR AMERICA NOT BE IN OTHER COUNTRIES TO PROTECT THEM AND HAVE ALL OUR EARNED MONEY SENT OVER SEAS,WE WANT OIL IN OUR OWN AMERICA AND PRODUCE GROWN HERE AND WE WANT GREAT EDUCATIONS FOR OUR CHILDREN LIKE THE PRESIDENT GETS FOR HIS CHILDREN. LIKE OTHER COUNTRIES THEY TAKE CARE OF THEIR CHILDREN EDUCATION HERE OUR CHILDREN IN COLLEGE’S OUR IN DEBIT BEFORE THEY GET OUT.OUR FARMERS CAN’T EVEN GROW OUR VEGETABLES AND WE CAN’T BUILD MUCH HERE ANYMORE WE WILL BE TAXED FROM OUR PRESIDENT HOUSE SPEAKER BUT THEY CAN SPEND AND SEND OUR MONEY OVER SEAS WHICH ,THEY SAY WERE BROKE BUT YET HE SPENDS AND HIS FAMILY SPENDS LIKE WE HAVE MONEY, I AM A CHRISTIAN BUT i WILL HELP THOSE IN DISASTERS NOT JUST BECAUSE OUR PRESIDENT BRINGS IN UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE WHOM WE CAN’T TRUST AND ALL HE SPEAKS OF IS MUSLIM HE SHOULD BE OVER SEAS WITH ALL OF YOU. WE WANT SOMEONE THAT LOVES OUR AMERICA AND THE PEOPLE IN HER AND MAKE OUR LIFE BETTER IN ALL WAYS NOT TAKE FROM US AND THEY ALL GET RICH AND WE JUST EXIST. WE HAVE NO FIGHTS WITH OTHER COUNTRIES AND YOUR BELIEFS OUR YOURS AND OURS WILL BE OURS SO IF YOU COME TO OUR AMERICA ABIDE BY OUR LAWS AND CUSTOMS AND DRESS CODES AS WE WOULD HAVE TO IF WE WENT TO YOURS,SO MAKE YOUR CHOICE BUT DON’T BE MAD AT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WE BELIEVE GREEDY POLITICIAN MAKE WARS AND THE PEOPLE HAVE TO PAY FOR IT SO GOD BE WITH YOU AND YOURS.

  10. What u can say it a justice ,that America kills million of childs, womens and youngs in Iraq , Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia only revenging for so called four thousand people and these killed childeren, woman and other people have no relation with the nine eleven attacks and still any american court has not made any of them the culprit for the action.It is better for America to withdraw from Afghanistan, Pakistan, And Iraq.Afghanistan and Iraq are ruiend already but America shall also become a desert for its own citizens.


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