Tuesday, August 02, 2011
9122: Patriotic Muslims.
From The New York Times…
Muslims Say They’re Loyal Americans, Poll Finds
By Laurie Goodstein
A decade after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a Gallup poll released on Tuesday found that the vast majority of Muslim Americans say they are loyal to the United States and optimistic about the future, even though they are more likely than other religious groups to say they recently experienced discrimination.
Nine out of 10 Muslim Americans said that their co-religionists in the United States were not sympathetic to Al Qaeda, the terrorist organization held responsible for the attacks 10 years ago. Majorities in other religious groups agreed that Muslim Americans did not sympathize with Al Qaeda, although the percentages were much lower.
The poll in many ways contradicts the stereotype of Muslim Americans as an alienated and discontented religious minority. It was conducted by telephone from Feb. 10 to March 11, 2010, and Oct. 1 to 21, 2010, by the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center, a Gallup-affiliated research group based in the United Arab Emirates. The poll, which included interviews with 2,482 adults of whom 475 said they were Muslim, has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus seven percentage points for Muslims.
“It’s not a completely rosy picture,” said Mohamed Younis, senior analyst with the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies in Washington and a main author of the study.
“The prejudice and discrimination are definitely there, and that’s something we have consistently seen in the data,” Mr. Younis said. “But at the same time many of the people in the Muslim-American community seem to be doing relatively well, and part of their doing well is being able to be full-fledged Americans, to participate in the American experience.”
The poll found that Muslim Americans were the most likely of any religious group to express confidence in the fairness of elections. The researchers speculated that this might be because of their high levels of support for President Obama, who said early in his administration that he would make it a priority to repair relationships with the Muslim world.
Since the terrorist attacks 10 years ago, Muslim Americans have been the target of intense scrutiny by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in counterterrorism investigations. Sixty percent of Muslims said in the survey that they had confidence in the F.B.I. That was fewer than those in other religious groups: about 75 percent of Americans in other religious groups said they had confidence in the F.B.I.
The sphere in which Muslim Americans were most critical of their country is in foreign policy. They are more likely than any other religious group to call the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan a mistake. Muslims also have the lowest level of confidence in the United States military of any faith group (70 percent for Muslims compared with more than 90 percent for all other religious groups, with the exception of atheists, with about 80 percent).
Two-thirds of Muslims who were asked the question said that the reason people in Muslim countries have unfavorable views of the United States was “based mostly on what the U.S. has done” — and not “based mostly on misinformation.”
Among the most intriguing findings: two-thirds of American Muslims say they identify strongly with the United States, about the same percentage as those who say they identify strongly with their religion. But other religious groups identified far more than Muslims with the United States. Protestants, Catholics and Jews said they identified with the United States far more strongly than they identified with their respective faiths.
Almost half of Muslim Americans said that they had experienced religious or racial discrimination in the last year. That was far more than the members of any other religious group. About one-third of Mormons said they had experienced discrimination in the last year, putting them second in that category after Muslims. About one-fifth of Jews, Catholics and Protestants said they had experienced prejudice.
On many key questions in the poll, it was American Jews whose answers most resembled those of Muslims. Jews were the most likely of any religious group besides Muslims to say that Muslims are loyal Americans, and that the war in Iraq was a mistake. Jews were just as likely as Muslims to say that American Muslims face prejudice.