PEW Report Highlights Muslim-American Attitudes
The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American- Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA) today reacted to the “first-ever” nation-wide survey of Muslim- Americans.
“The most significant finding is that majority Muslim- Americans are widely assimilated, educated, and empowered in economic, social and political arenas,” said Safaa Ibrahim, CAIR-SFBA Executive Director. “They do not see a conflict between being devout Muslims and being integrated citizens of this country.”
The survey conducted by the PEW Research Center, titled “Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream”, reveals that Muslims in the US reject extremism and are “decidedly American in outlook, values, and attitudes.”
“The study confirms that there is no shortage of moderate American Muslims, shattering claims made by Islamophobic alarmists,” Ibrahim added.
Most media headlines have focused the survey’s finding that 15% of those surveyed, under the age of 30, believe suicide attacks can be justified in certain cases. “Understandably this number is concerning, but rest assured American Muslim organizations are working hard to educate, engage and empower youth to constructively work within our democratic system,” she said.
“CAIR’s quarterly Youth Leadership Workshop series, for example, focus on introducing our youth to various public service fields such as politics, media, civil rights, justice and interfaith, thus broadening their horizons and serving as a platform for them to effectively utilize the system to further justice and understanding,” she noted. She also pointed out that more than two-thirds of youth say suicide bombing tactics are never justified in any circumstance.
In response to some media coverage, CAIR-SFBA received a hate email calling for the internment of Muslims and “immediate deportation.” Hate Mail in Response to Media Coverage of Pew Survey. The entire text of the email is below:
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 10:53 AM
Subject: ‘Troubling’ views on suicide bombings
“A majority of Americans favor stripping muslims of their citizenship and putting them in camps pending immediate deportation to a third world arab-muslim toilet of their choice.
The muslim may have learned to walk on its hind legs but this survey proves it’s unfit to breath the same air as a human being.
islam isn’t a religion; it’s a violent, savage, 7th Century political cult commited to the overthrow of human values and the modern Western way of life.
It’s time to play cowboys and muslims.
Let the roundup begin.”
Citing the above, Ibrahim emphasized the need for balance and accuracy when covering such stories. “Sensational headlines result in hate and prejudice because they lead people into believing that all Muslims are in favor of extremism, when in fact the opposite is true,” she said. “Muslims at large reject extremism, and the study, almost in its entirety, highlights that Muslim Americans are well-integrated members of society.”
To read the complete report, see: http://pewresearch.org/assets/pdf/muslim- americans.pdf