Source: Huffington Post
Donald Trump has proposed profiling Muslim Americans and shutting down mosques. He claims that Muslim “hatred is beyond comprehension.” But the truth is that Muslim Americans are not only integrating into U.S. society, but are actuallymore opposed to violence and more tolerant in many ways than many other Americans.
Muslim Americans Hold Mainstream Religious and Political Views
Muslims are similar to other religious Americans. Pew’s major survey of Muslims in 2011 found that religion was equally important to Christian and Muslim Americans. Christians and Muslims also attend religious services with about the same frequency. Only 35 percent of Muslims saw their religion as the only true faith, compared to 30 percent of Christians. Like 64 percent of U.S. Christians, a majority of Muslim Americans think different religions can lead to eternal life. Pew even found that Muslims are much less prone to scriptural literalism than Evangelicals.
Most American Muslims arrived in the United States after 1990, yet they are almost as likely as Christians to prioritize their American identity over their religious identity. As matter of fact, Muslims are much more likely than Evangelical Christians to see themselves as Americans first. More than two-thirds of Evangelicals identify as Christians first and Americans second.
The fear that Muslim Americans might be more loyal to other Muslims around the world than they are to their own country is unfounded. Gallup’s major survey of American Muslims in 2010 found that Muslim Americans were the least likely of any American religious group to strongly identify with their coreligionists abroad.
Far from being clannish, Pew found that 93 percent of Muslim Americans had closenon-Muslim friends. A majority reported that most of their friends were non-Muslim. At the same time, 92 percent of U.S. Muslims don’t oppose women working outside the home (98 percent of Americans agree). Pew also found that 62 percent of Muslims said they were “OK” with Muslims marrying non-Muslims, and another 11 percent said it depends. American Christians were not asked this exact question, but in 2014, Pew found that 77 percent of white Evangelicals would be unhappy if an immediate family member married an atheist.
Pew finds that U.S. Muslims are politically moderate (38% moderate; 27% liberal; 25% conservative). They were also swing voters in the 2000s, first going strongly for George W. Bush in 2000 before flipping to John Kerry and Democrats since 2004.
Muslim Americans Are Less Likely to Support Intolerance, Violence
While there are no good polls on the attitude of American Muslims toward Sharia religious law,* U.S. Muslims score higher than most other believers on Gallup’s “religious tolerance” index. The index categorizes individuals as either “isolated,” “tolerant,” or “integrated,” based on their level of agreement with five statements about other faiths. Not all Americans share Muslim Americans’ openness to other faiths. In fact, recent Public Policy Polling (PPP) polls found many Republicans in Iowa, North Carolina, and New Hampshire believe Islam should be banned.