Muslim Americans Are Model Citizens, According to a New Poll
Muslim citizens are as American as apple pie, a new poll says.
The survey, from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, shows that though Muslims living in America are facing more violence than ever, they are actually among America's most model citizens.
What exactly does that mean?
Well, in a land founded on religious freedom, Muslims are among the most religious and patriotic citizens: 42% of Muslims attend services regularly compared to 45% of Protestants. And 87% of Muslims say religion is important to their lives, compared to 94% of Protestants.
That Muslims would continue to show religious pride and attend service is a testament to their faith, especially when 2015 was the worst year for mosque attacks on record.
When it comes to identifying as a patriot, 85% of Muslims "have a strong American identity," just like 84% of Protestants. They are also just as likely as other Americans to identify strongly with their faith — 89% of Muslims, 84% of Jews, and 95% of Catholics and Protestants shared the sentiment.
While Republican presidential candidates continue to discuss "radical Islamic terrorism" in debates, most American Muslims actually reject violence by a much higher margin than other groups. Sixty-five percent of Muslims oppose the targeting and killing of civilians by military groups, much higher than other religious groups. Additionally, the survey found zero correlation between Muslim religious identity, mosque attendance and attitudes toward violence.
Muslims make pretty great neighbors, too. Thirty-eight percent of Muslims work with neighbors to solve problems, almost equal to the percentage of Jews (40%) and Catholics (42%) who do so.
And while a much lower number of Muslims are registered to vote, among those who are eligible and registered, 85% plan to vote (which is still lower than most groups.) However, given the Islamophobia in the current political climate, it's understandable. A combined 27% of non-voting Muslims said that they don't like the proposed candidates or the candidates don't represent them.
Finally, even though more than half of Muslims report experiencing discrimination on the basis of their religion in the last year — compared to 5% of Jews, 4% of Catholics and 2% of Protestants — they are the most optimistic about the future of America. Despite facing rampant Islamophobia, 63% of Muslims believe America is on the right track.
And honestly, isn't believing in the future of America the most American thing?