Muslim Americans Are Model Citizens According To New Survey, So Can Someone Please Do Something About The Political Rhetoric, Please?
Despite the current political rhetoric around Muslim Americans in the United States, a look at the evidence makes it obvious that the anti-Muslim rhetoric is utterly baseless. In fact, a new survey reveals that Muslim Americans are model citizens. Someone might want to tell Donald Trump.
A poll from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding found that Muslims are very much like members of other religions. In fact, in many ways, Muslims are most similar to America's largest and most influential religious group, Protestant Christians. Both Muslims and Protestants attend religious services with about the same frequency (42 percent of Muslims and 45 percent of Protestants attend at least weekly). Both overwhelmingly say that their religion is important in their lives (87 percent of Muslims and 94 percent of Protestants).
And crucially, Muslims and Protestants seem to balance religious and national identity similarly. Both identify strongly with both their faith and their country. Eighty-five percent of Muslims say they have a strong American identity, and 89 percent strongly identify with their faith; meanwhile, 84 percent of Protestants have a strong American identity, and 95 percent strongly identify with their faith. In other words, Muslims and Protestants are largely the same in terms of navigating the balance between civic and religious identity.
In other words, if we're going to be worried about radicalized Muslim Americans, or claim that Muslims aren't loyal to America, we should also be worrying just as much about American Protestants.
The report also notes that, "There is no correlation between Muslim religious identity, the importance of religion or frequency of mosque attendance and Muslim attitudes toward violence." And, in fact, when it comes to attitudes towards violence, Muslims are more likely than other religious groups to oppose targeting and killing civilians.
But it doesn't stop there. Not only do the vast majority of Muslims identify strongly as Americans, but those who say their faith is important to their identity are actually more likely to say being American is also important to their identity than those who do not see religion as quite so important.
Moreover, it seems that religious engagement makes Muslims more likely to be civic-minded, too; Muslims who attend mosque regularly are more likely to work with their neighbors to solve problems and to be registered to vote than Muslims who do not. Muslims are also about as likely as Jews and Catholics to cooperate with their neighbors to solve problems, meaning that being a good neighbor is just as much a Muslim thing as a Christian one.
In other words, there is no conflict between being a Muslims and being an American, and it's really about time we stopped acting as though there was. By all accounts, Muslim Americans are overall model citizens — something that is probably unsurprising to anyone who is Muslim American or personally knows someone who is.
And really, the fact that even in the midst of an horrifying wave of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim political rhetoric that has been sweeping the country in the past year, Muslim Americans have still maintained a strong sense of patriotism really goes to show that they might be better American citizens than any of us.