Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Ground Zero Declaration

Here's an interesting new initiative that could be the seed of something very important in time.

It's called the Ground Zero Declaration, which everyone should sign. 

By signing the Ground Zero Declaration, you join in its request of four things from the Ground Zero Imam (Rauf) and his associates:

1. Rauf and his associates should go through a questionnaire titled "The Qur'an vs. the Constitution: Questionnaire for Muslims seeking free practice of their religion in America" -- the questionnaire asks ten questions (each of which highlights an aspect of Islamic doctrine that conflicts with U.S. law, the Constitution, and Bill of Rights) and then asks Muslims to answer yes or no, as to whether they repudiate each aspect of Islamic doctrine that conflicts with American law and values.

2. Rauf and his associates should sign the "Freedom Pledge" -- this is a document that former Muslims are asking American Muslim leaders to sign.  The Freedom Pledge points out that Islamic doctrine calls for the death of persons who leave the Islamic faith.  The Freedom Pledge repudiates that aspect of Islamic doctrine, and opposes any physical intimidation or worldly or corporal punishment for apostates from Islam.

3. Rauf and associates should demand that Muslim nations grant non-Muslim religions the same freedom to build houses of worship that America grants Muslims.

4. Rauf and associates should postpone, relocate, reconfigure their plans for an Islamic Center within a mile of Ground Zero.

The Declaration then ends by saying that
These simple steps would demonstrate their goodwill, and open the door to a productive dialogue with and about Islam. It would establish a clear distinction between a Reformed Islam that is compatible with American values and a jihadist Islam that seeks to destroy them.

Apart from these steps, we have no reason to believe that the Cordoba House [the Ground Zero Mosque] will in any way be beneficial to American society or inter-faith dialogue. In the shadow of 9/11, the burden of proof is on Imam Rauf to help us understand why we should tolerate an ideology that, at first glance, seems intolerant of everything America stands for.

If he refuses to supply such proof [for example, by carrying out the four actions listed above], then we ask our city, state and federal leaders to judge them by their own standards and give them no more freedom than they are willing to give others. We do not believe a commitment to freedom means giving our enemies the freedom to destroy us.

The choice is theirs.
(my bolding)  I like the bolded paragraph a lot, especially since I've read the three documents: the Ground Zero Declaration, "Freedom Pledge", and the Questionnaire: Qur'an vs. the Constitution. These documents are brilliant seeds for the future, ideas in need of ongoing development and refinement.  The three documents seem to me to be very much in the spirit of suggestions made by Robert Spencer to require some kind of pledge from Muslims who want to become citizens. 

It should be noted that even if a Muslim lied in answering documents like these, s/he could be held accountable for those lies if exposed.  At some point in the future, documents like these could perhaps be given legal force, so that lying in one's answers could be made a crime, leading in some circumstances to loss of citizenship and deportation. 

The other value of these documents is that they often compel Muslims to reveal themselves.  For example, a number of "moderate" American Muslim leaders have refused to sign the Freedom Pledge, and that reveals that the "moderate" Muslims in question are not willing to condemn Islam's death-to-apostates law.  That rips off the "moderate" mask and reveals the ugly face beneath for all to see. 

And as for the Questionnaire, even if no Muslim ever answers it, it's a powerful educational tool for non-Muslims, because the Questionnaire makes crystal clear a dozen specific ways in which Islamic law and culture are barbarically in conflict with basic American values and laws.  I think the Questionnaire could use some more refinement, by experts like Spencer, but it's already a powerful beginning.


Anonymous said...


--Kinana here.

If you have Excel, you can get a good idea of how to do this by going to "Help" and typing in "correlation," and it will show you how the data should be laid out and how to write the brief command for the correlation calculation. You might want to try this just by typing in some random scores first to get the idea (e.g., with only, say, 6 scores per column).

For your real data, if you are typing everything manually, you would type the list of nations in column A. Each nation occupies one row. You need two scores for each country, i.e., its "civil liberties" score, and its "percentage of population who are Muslims" score. Use column B for the "civil liberties" numbers, typing in the appropriate value for each country. Use column C for "percentage of population who are Muslims," typing in the numbers in the appropriate value for each country.

Very roughly, I'd guess it might take an hour or so to enter all this data, if you have about 190 scores. Then you want to check over every score by eye, comparing it to your original source (or list you've compiled), to make sure it is correct. This may take about half an hour.

Once you've completed the above, place the cursor on an empty cell. Click on Function (also symbolized as fx), and select Statistical, or All, and select CORREL (that's for correlation). Select the Help option and it will show you an example of how to specify the data to be analyzed, e.g. =CORREL(B1:B190,C1:C190). Then click okay, and that will give you your result. Your result (based on the kind of data you showed in your post) should be a negative value between -1 and 0. That's the correlation coefficient (r).

Your data do suggest a strong correlation, and with approx 190 scores the relation will almost certainly be statistically significant. (BTW, the number of countries in the world is about 192 to 196, depending on who is counting. If there are any countries left out of your analysis, you might want to make a note of that).

To check statistical significance of your correlation, you can consult statistical tables online for the critical values of the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. You would look for the table for two variables, and then select the appropriate sample size (n), minus 2 (i.e., n - 2). For two-tailed significance, your obtained r should correspond with a p-value of less than .05

If this last part about statistical significance seems confusing, don't worry. Just get my attention and post your r (correlation coefficient), and I will check the appropriate table.

Anonymous said...


Your r will be negative, but the r values listed in the pearson correlation critical values table I mentioned will not have a positive or negative sign. It's the magnitude, not the sign (plus or minus) that's relevant when using the table. So if you obtain r = -.71 in your analysis, for example, you would then use the critical value closest to that in absolute value (e.g., an r of .70) as your reference point.

Anonymous said...

p.p.s. correction: your correlation should be positive in terms of the actual scores. That is, according to your hypothesis, as the Muslim population increases, these scores that Freedom House uses should increase. That's because increased scores indicated increased violation of political rights and civil liberties, whereas low scores indicate less violation of those rights (more freedom). I was thrown off when you mentioned "inverse". It's important to distinguish between the conceptual phrasing and the statistical phrasing.

Anyways, I'm having a look at the 2009 data from Freedom House and will let you know what I find.

Anonymous said...

I've now had a look at the 2009 Freedom House data, for political rights vs percentage Muslim population, and for civil liberties vs percentage Muslim population, for about 69 of the countries thus far (most of them selected at random). At this interim point I can tell you that the correlations are about r = .47 and r = .53 respectively, which are definitely statistically significant, well beyond the usual p values of .05, .01, etc.

I don't expect the results to be much different when it is complete.

One may ask why the correlation is not stronger. The probable reason for that is that there are other non-Muslim countries that are dictatorships.

Anonymous said...

These correlations are all highly statistically significant, way beyond the usual thresholds of .05 or .01. The estimated p values (see above) are given by my stats program.

I would suggest that the results you obtain for the 2005 data will be very similar to what I found here for the 2009 data.

I should note that there are additional variables that are important. If you were to present just a simple correlation between two variables like this, thoughtful readers who know something about statistics would want to know if there are other important variables influencing the results. They might then obtain other scores for the countries in question such as economic, educational, legal, and political indicators, include these variables in a more complex correlational type of analysis.

The bottom line for our purposes here is that the relationship you claimed was there is there, and it is statistically significant.

I don't really have anything more to add here, so if you have any questions, or want to let me know the results of your assessment of the 2005 data, just get my attention at JW in the comment section.

Anonymous said...

...for the fourth attempt, this was supposed to appear before the last post...

Okay Traeh,

I've completed the analysis on the 194 countries listed by Freedom House (2010 version, which is actually 2009 data). Data is from here:

I had to obtain figures for percentage Muslim population for each country from a combination of sources, namely, CIA Factbook, the PEW estimates compiled in a list on Wikipedia, and other sources. Where the PEW estimates are < 0.1%, I rounded them off as 0%. For scores more than 1%, for simplicity I generally rounded off any decimal values to the nearest whole number. This would not have any significant impact on the results.

The correlations are as follows (n = 194, df = 192):

MP% by PR, r = .51,
p = .0000000000000287

MP% by CL, r = .53,
p = .00000000000000199

MP% by (PR+CL), r = .53,
p = .00000000000000274

MP% is the percentage of population that is Muslim, PR is political rights score, CL is civil liberties score. Thus the pearson correlation between the percentage of Muslims in a country and the level of political rights for its people is r = .51, and so on for the CL and (PR + CL) results.

In other words, the higher the percentage of Muslims in the population, the less political rights and less civil liberties people in that country have.*

*According to Freedom House, "PR and CL stand for political rights and civil liberties, respectively; 1 represents the most free and 7 the least free rating. The ratings reflect an overall judgment based on survey results." (see the above link).

Anonymous said...

Have posted a chart on this, with hat-tip to you, at

Traeh said...

Wow, Kinana. Great work. Thank you for all the explanations and tips. I'm very glad to see you pursued this. I expect I'll be using your chart.

Anonymous said...


--Kinana here.

I was curious as to why thebattleoftour's correlation was r = .61 for the 2011 report (2010 data). That's .08 higher than what I found for the 2009 data, which seems to me to be too much of a discrepancy from one year to the next. I therefore ran the analysis myself for the 2010 data, on the 194 countries, and found r = .52, which is very consistent with what I found for the 2009 data (r = .53).

I suspect that thebattleoftours may have done something different. I note that he does not report his sample size.

Traeh said...

Thank you, Kinana.

I suspect a lot of jihad watchers might be grateful to you if you could eventually add other variables to this statistical analysis. I wonder if it would be possible to create a robust social science case against Islamic immigration. But I think that, as you pointed out, that would require the inclusion of other social variables in the statistical analysis. I also wouldn't be at all surprised if doing this in a way that social scientists would find convincing might be a huge amount of work. But our side needs science on our side, if we can get it. The Center for the Study of Political Islam, whatever their shortcomings, has tried to advance a quantitative approach to the Qur'an, so as to be able to weigh both sides of Qur'anic contradictions, and cut through the endless morass of confusion about what the Qur'an predominantly means. For the same reason I think a statistical analysis of Muslim population percentages, if it could be made conclusive enough, could be very valuable.

Perhaps eventually I could have a go at developing this further, or perhaps we could try to do it as a joint project, if you think it might produce a useful result. We could break up the tasks involved, so they wouldn't be as onerous. I do have Excel, and I think I could probably learn the statistical part without too much difficulty. I wonder if it would be possible to correlate changes in Muslim population percentages with changes in human rights ratings. Perhaps not, because Muslim population percentages probably change too slowly, and I doubt whether we have Freedom house ratings over long enough periods to correlate their changes with changes in Muslim pop. percentages. But even if we can't do that, it might be useful to add other social variables to the analysis.

I suppose the conclusiveness of the analysis might be undermined by relying solely on Freedom House for the human rights data. Someone could attribute our results to some sort of Freedom House imbalance in measuring Islamic nations. Perhaps eventually one could integrate the ratings of other human rights groups into the analysis.

I'm not sure about whether a project like this would be likely to produce conclusive results that trained social scientists might accept. What do you think?

Anonymous said...


--Kinana here.

This has been interesting, but I'm going to have to withdraw at this point. Taking on such a project is not something I have the time or money to do at this juncture in my life. A fair chunk of my spare time is already taken up just keeping up with JW and another website I follow fairly regularly.

What we've done, with this neat little correlational project, is fine for our limited purposes. (We'd need to post the data and a write-up on a website, though, so people could look at it). The Political Islam project is fine for our purposes. But for wider use, to convince people who are not already critical of Islam, these projects would have to be taken up by others who are perceived as more neutral and of course having appropriate credentials and expertise. The PEW results I often cite, for example, carry weight precisely because they are from studies conducted by an organization perceived as professional and neutral.

You raise a number of valid points and considerations.

"I wonder if it would be possible to create a robust social science case against Islamic immigration."

That would require detailed data on Muslims in the west. We can't sufficiently generalize based on data from Muslim countries because people who choose to come to the west may differ in many ways from those who stay in Islamic countries. (Muslims who choose to come to the west aren't a random sample from their countries of origin).

BTW, my objection is to Muslims who support sharia or who might be jihadists. I don't have a significant problem with Muslims who merely practice a modern personal version of Islam. But I do think we need to ban sharia, and that should help reduce the Islam problem in the west.

"But our side needs science on our side, if we can get it."

Agreed, though it would be preferable for us to find studies carried out by other more neutral and professional (or academic) sources. Our do-it-yourself projects--no matter how well they are done--aren't going to have the necessary perceived credibility, neutrality, and weight.

"I suppose the conclusiveness of the analysis might be undermined by relying solely on Freedom House for the human rights data."

Yes, the more sources the better.

"I'm not sure about whether a project like this would be likely to produce conclusive results that trained social scientists might accept. What do you think?"

I have enough training in statistics and research that that wouldn't really be an issue, if that's all there were to it. The issue of course would be the fact that I am an anonymous Islam critic whose expertise is not in religion, politics, or sociology. I wouldn't be perceived as having the necessary credentials, and I'd be perceived as biased.

But we could communicate our ideas to researchers who may be in a position to carry out such studies.

Traeh said...

Kinana, I can't say I feel no relief that you said no. It would have been a big task.

And it occurs to me that a lot of the data one needs may be contained in the U.N. Arab Human Development Report (or whatever it was called), which is copiously quoted, so I gather, in that book The Closing of the Muslim Mind. Perhaps I will have a look at that book.

I do thank you for all the thought you put into this, and the additional statistical detail you produced.