The early days of Donald Trump’s presidency have been an anxious time for many Muslim Americans, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Overall, Muslims in the United States perceive a lot of discrimination against their religious group, are leery of Trump and think their fellow Americans do not see Islam as part of mainstream U.S. society.
At the same time, however, Muslim Americans express a persistent streak of optimism and positive feelings. Overwhelmingly, they say they are proud to be Americans, believe that hard work generally brings success in this country and are satisfied with the way things are going in their own lives – even if they are not satisfied with the direction of the country as a whole.
…. In addition, half of Muslim Americans say it has become harder to be Muslim in the U.S. in recent years. And 48% say they have experienced at least one incident of discrimination in the past 12 months.
But alongside these reports of discrimination, a similar – and growing – share (49%) of Muslim Americans say someone has expressed support for them because of their religion in the past year. And 55% think Americans in general are friendly toward U.S. Muslims, compared with just 14% who say they are unfriendly. [Pew Research Center] Read more
Discrimination against Muslims is increasing in U.S., Pew study finds
Anti-Muslim discrimination is common and on the rise — and so, too, are expressions of support for Muslims, according to a new study on one of the United States’ fastest-growing religious minorities.
The Pew Research Center on Wednesday released the results of a far-reaching new survey of Muslims nationwide that highlighted a broad sense of anxiety and unease about their place in the United States and with a president who most consider unfriendly toward Muslims.
“Overall, Muslims in the United States perceive a lot of discrimination against their religious group, are leery of President Donald Trump and think their fellow Americans do not see Islam as part of mainstream U.S. society,” the study’s authors wrote.
Pew surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,001 Muslim adults by telephone between January and May this year, and overall results carry a six-point margin of sampling error. [The Washington Post] Read more
How the ‘homophobic Muslim’ became a populist bogeyman
Here’s something you may not have thought likely. A majority of American Muslims now believes that it’s fine to be gay. The latest Pew Research Centre survey, published on 26 July, tells us that most think homosexuality “should be accepted by society”.
The poll further shows how dramatically acceptance has risen, nearly doubling from 27% to 52% since 2007 (among millennial Muslims, it’s 60%). Muslims may lag behind the general public, for whom the corresponding figure on this issue is 63%, but they poll at exactly the same percentage as Protestants and far above white evangelical Christians, a mere 34% of whom believe that homosexuality should be tolerated.
If you have actually spent some time with American Muslims you won’t be surprised by these numbers. I’m not. This is a multifaceted group of people, representing many different and sometimes conflicting tendencies and traditions. But the Pew data shows us that the overall tilt of the community, even while it is itself contending with high levels of discrimination, is progressive and optimistic. [The Guardian] Read more
In many ways, Muslim men and women see life in America differently
…. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, more Muslim women than men say it has become more difficult to be Muslim in the U.S. in recent years (57% vs. 43%).
And Muslim women are more divided on their acceptance by society at large than are men. Half (52%) of Muslim women say they have a lot in common with most Americans and 44% view the American people as friendly toward Muslim Americans, compared with two-thirds of Muslim men who say each of these things.
Muslim women also express more apprehension than men about anti-Muslim discrimination. Eight-in-ten Muslim women (83%) say there is a lot of discrimination against Muslims, compared with a smaller share of men who say this (68%). In fact, about half (55%) of women say they have experienced at least one of several specific types of anti-Muslim discrimination in the past year. [Pew Research Center] Read more
Strong religious beliefs are only one part of Muslim American identity
Nearly all Muslim Americans (97%) say they take pride in being a member of the Islamic faith. But their devotion to core religious beliefs and practices is only part of a religious identity that also includes concerns about social justice and the environment.
The vast majority of U.S. Muslims say belief in God is essential (85%) to their religious identity, according to a Pew Research Center survey of 1,001 U.S. Muslims conducted between January and May of this year. An additional 10% say belief in God is “important but not essential.”
By comparison, the vast majority of American Christians also said believing in God is essential to their religious identity (86%), according to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey. And an additional 10% of U.S. Christians said this belief is important (though not essential) to what being Christian means to them. [Pew Research Center] Read more
U.S. Muslims are religiously observant, but open to multiple interpretations of Islam
For American Muslims, being highly religious does not necessarily translate into acceptance of traditional notions of Islam. While many U.S. Muslims say they attend mosque and pray regularly, sizable shares also say that there is more than one way to interpret their religion and that traditional understandings of Islam need to be reinterpreted to address the issues of today.
By some conventional measures, U.S. Muslims are as religious as – or more religious than – many Americans who belong to other faith groups. Four-in-ten (43%) Muslim Americans say they attend mosque at least once a week, including 18% who say they attend more than once a week, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey. An additional 32% say they attend once or twice a month, or a few times a year.
These attendance levels are comparable to those of U.S. Christians, 47% of whom say they attend services weekly or more, and greater than the 14% of American Jews who say the same. [Pew Research Center] Read more