The Pew Research Center’s latest survey of Muslim attitudes reveals that Muslim Americans are happier with the United States than the general American population.
Some 56 percent of Muslims are satisfied with the current state of the country, compared with 23 percent of the general public. Of the 1,033 Muslim Americans interviewed for the poll, 82 percent said they were “satisfied” with their lives, and 79 percent thought their communities were great.
U.S. Muslims also differ from the general American population in another way, according to Pew: They are more liberal. The poll found that 68 percent of Muslim Americans would prefer a bigger government providing more services, compared with 42 percent of the general public, UPI reports. Some 46 percent identify themselves as Democrats and an additional 24 percent say they are leaning that way, the survey found. Forty-six percent of Muslim Americans said they believe the GOP is unfriendly toward them.
One notable exception to their liberal leanings is attitudes towards homosexuality. Only 39 percent of Muslims polled compared with 58 percent of the general public said it should be accepted by society.
According to the Christian Science Monitor:
Pew’s last survey of this group was in 2007, and the current one was sparked, in part, by a desire to know whether recent concerns about home-grown terrorism and other pressures had led to increased alienation and anger among Muslim Americans and support for extremism, says Scott Keeter, Pew’s director of survey research and a coauthor of the study.
The result, he says, was the opposite. “There’s been no increase in favorable views of Al Qaeda, of suicide bombing, or Islamic extremism,” he says. And, “while a lot of Muslim Americans acknowledged that life is difficult and that they continue to face discrimination, they do not regard the American people as particularly unfriendly to them.”
American Muslims profess far less support for suicide bombings or Al Qaeda than Muslims in other parts of the world, the survey shows. Just 8 percent of American Muslims say that suicide bombing is often or sometimes justified, and only 5 percent say they have a somewhat favorable opinion of Al Qaeda.
The Pew survey also revealed that the general public doesn’t know Muslim Americans very well. While 56 percent of the Muslim community said Muslims want to adopt American customs and ways of life, only 33 percent of the general public said that Muslims want to adopt American customs, and more than half felt that Muslims want to remain distinct from the larger society, WNYC reports.
Pew estimates that there are about 2.75 million Muslims of all ages living in the United States. Of those 18 and older, nearly two-thirds were born abroad, and 25 percent have arrived in the U.S. since 2000.