May 23, 2007
The Detroit News is reporting that a survey of American Muslims by the Pew Research Center finds that American Muslims are generally moderate and well-assimilated, especially when compared to Muslims in Europe and the Middle East.
Believed to be the nation's first, the random-sample survey of American Muslims by the Pew Research Center documents that incomes, education levels and personal politics among American Muslims are generally in line with non-Muslim Americans.
The survey also showed American Muslims reject extremism by greater numbers than Muslims in the Middle East, South Asia or Europe. "Our tradition leaves no place and no justification for suicide bombings," said Imam Mohammed Ali Elahi, the leader of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights. That’s also in sharp contract to conservatives who claim other Muslims do not speak out against or condemn radical, fundamentalist Islam.
The survey results will come as a shock to right-wingers, like self-described ”terrorism and national security expert” Steve Emerson, who promotes racial profiling of men of Middle Eastern descent and says all Muslim groups are terrorist front groups, and hatemonger Ann Coulter. No description is necessary for her. Ironically, these two are speakers at Cleary University's Livingston Economic Club Speaker Series in the school’s apparent quest to find the most extreme right-wingers it can find.
With people like Coulter and Emerson around, it not surprising that a majority of Muslim Americans, 53 percent, say it has become more difficult to be a Muslim in the United States since the terrorist attacks, and 54 percent believe the government "singles out" Muslims for increased surveillance and monitoring.
The only drawback to the report and helps further the hate monger’s case is that 26 percent of young Muslims think suicide bombing in defense of Islam can be justified. But the violence supported by some, especially those aged 18-29, prompted an immediate reaction from Muslim leaders in Metro Detroit on Tuesday. However, only a small amount of the total Muslim population survey expressed that view. Perhaps instead of a policy of racial profiling and discrimination, actually reaching out to them, understanding and education will be a better way to change that perception.