When a big-time polling company (Gallup) partners up with an Islamic nation (Dubai) to show Muslim success in the United States, the investigation may not be very challenging.
The just-released 132-page report (half in Arabic) is titled “MUSLIM AMERICANS: Faith, Freedom, and the Future; Examining U.S. Muslims’ Political, Social, and Spiritual Engagement 10 Years After September 11.” (Download here.) The presentation is cheerful and seems preoccupied with whether Muslims residing in this country are “thriving” and how much discrimination they have suffered at the hands of cruel Islamophobe Americans.
Gallup’s own online page highlighting the poll seemed designed to emphasize the peacefulness of Muslims by noting that they “are the staunchest opponents of military attacks on civilians.”
Gallup apparently did not ask whether those surveyed approved of the more than 17,500 jihadist attacks since 9/11, as tracked by the “Religion of Peace” website, which is currently scoring Ramadan 2011.
If I were designing a poll, there would be more probing questions for Muslim residers in the United States, such as the following:
? Is sharia law superior to the Constitution?
? Would America be a better place if ruled by sharia?
? Does your local mosque preach the eventuality of a worldwide caliphate?
? Were Jews behind the attacks on the World Trade Center?
? Are American women whores?
? Is polygamy a basic human right?
These are the sort of questions that inquiring citizens like your humble correspondent would like to see asked and answered, but pollsters seem skittish for some reason. Perhaps there was too much unpleasant truth revealed in the 2006 poll where 40 percent of Muslims residing in Britain said they wanted sharia law in the UK.
On Tuesday, the diversity-friendly PBS Newshour focused on the upbeat aspects and allowed the Gallup spokesman to frame the results with no critical examination.
Despite Gallup’s lack of curiosity, the company did turn up at least one noteworthy statistic, one that indicated how little Muslims are integrated in this country, as measured by their lack of identification with America compared to all other religious groups.
Poll: U.S. Muslims don’t back terror, Politico, August 2, 2011
The overwhelming majority of American Muslims say they are not sympathetic with terror groups like al Qaeda, but they identify less strongly with the United States than other religious groups in the country, according to a new poll on Tuesday.
While 69 percent of American Muslims identify either very strongly or extremely strongly with the U.S., that compares with about 90 percent of Christians and Jews in the U.S. who hold those views, the Gallup survey found.
A full 91 percent of Protestants, 89 percent of Catholics, 86 percent of Jews and 92 percent of Mormons say that they identify either very strongly or extremely strongly with the U.S.
American Muslims and Mormons tend to identify with their faith and the U.S. equally, but Catholics, Protestants and Jews all said that they identified more with their country than with their religion, Gallup said.
Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, American Muslims have been in the spotlight for a variety of reasons, many of them associated with prejudice toward Muslims as supporters of terrorism.
An overwhelming number – 92 percent – of American Muslims said that Muslims in this country are not sympathetic toward al Qaeda, but that number was significantly lower among other religious groups with 56 percent of Protestants, 63 percent of Catholics and 70 percent of Jews saying that American Muslims do sympathize with the organization.
And Tuesday’s poll echoed that experience, with nearly half of American Muslims saying they had experienced religious or racial discrimination within the past year. About one-third of Mormons said that they had faced discrimination, compared to only one-fifth of Jews, Catholics and Protestants.
American Muslims also overwhelmingly said that they opposed military attacks on civilians, with 78 percent saying that such attacks are never justified and 21 percent saying they are sometimes justified. In other religious groups – except Mormons – the proportion saying such attacks are sometimes justified is twice that.
The poll found that Muslim in the U.S. were broadly critical of American foreign policy, with 83 percent of American Muslims saying the war in Iraq was a mistake, which, except for Jews and atheists, was about twice as high a number than other religious groups.
Unlike other religious groups in the U.S., Muslims said that widely unfavorable views of the U.S. in predominantly Islamic countries was caused by U.S. actions and not misinformation spread by those countries’ governments. Two-thirds of Muslim Americans said they believed that U.S. actions had tarnished its reputations, while about 70 percent of Protestants, Catholics and Mormons blamed the unfavorable views on misinformation.
The poll was carried out by from Feb. 10, 2010 to March 11, 2010 and has a margin of error for Muslim Americans of 6.6 percent. The margin of error for Protestants was 4.7 percent, for Catholics 6.4 percent, for Jews 7.3 percent and for Mormons 8.3. percent. The poll surveyed a total of 2, 482 adults, 475 of whom were Muslims.