April 1, 2016

IMPORTING SUPERIOR CITIZENS:

Hey America, Religious Muslims Are Model U.S. Citizens : A new survey finds that nearly everything you hear about Muslims on the Republican campaign trail isn't true.   (JESSICA LEBER 04.01.16,, cO.EXIST)

What's most interesting about the survey results is that they show that the more religiously observant Muslims are, the more likely they are to take part in their broader community. Muslims were as likely as Protestants to say they have a strong American identity (85% vs. 84%) and identify as strongly with their faith at rates similar to other religious groups. But Muslims who say their faith is "important to their identity" were also more likely to say that being American is important to their identity (91%) than those Muslims who expressed weak religious identity (68%). Muslims who did go more regularly to mosque were also more likely to report working with their neighbors to solve community problems, be registered to vote, and to intend to vote in the upcoming election.

This isn't a huge surprise. Religious people tend to be more community-oriented, no matter what the religion. "If we want to prevent radicalization, we need to keep people going to the mosques," Dalia Mogahed, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding's executive director, said in a TED talk given recently.

The survey contains a lot more data, which you can explore here. It turns out Muslims are the youngest and most racially diverse religious group--and are pretty similar to Protestants in their religious behavior and pretty similar to Jews in their left-leaning politics. Among the U.S. presidential candidates, 44% of Muslims favored Hillary Clinton and 27% favored Bernie Sanders, and 75% of Muslims supported President Obama--more than any other religious groups. Even though Muslims were the most likely to report religious discrimination, importantly about 60% said they were "satisfied" with the direction of the country--far higher than any other religious group.

Mogahed says that the media and politicians are together creating dangerous perceptions about a minority community in the United States--a worrisome problem for the future of democracy. "How does consuming fear 24 hours a day affect the health of our democracy, the health of our free thought?," she asks. One study she cites showed that exposure to negative news stories about Muslims correlates with people becoming more accepting of military attacks on Muslim countries and domestic policies that curtail civil rights.

While those opposing them have the highest level of disconnection.

Posted by at April 1, 2016 8:08 PM

  

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