Unlike Muslim minorities in many European countries, U.S. Muslims are highly assimilated, close to parity with other Americans in income and overwhelmingly opposed to Islamic extremism, according to the first major, nationwide random survey of Muslims.

The survey by the Pew Research Center found that 78 percent of U.S. Muslims said the use of suicide bombings against civilian targets to defend Islam is never justified. But 5 percent said it is justified “rarely,” 7 percent said “sometimes,” and 1 percent said “often”; the remaining 9 percent said they did not know or declined to answer.

By comparison, Muslims in France, Spain and Britain were almost twice as likely to say suicide bombing is sometimes or often justified, and public acceptance of the tactic is even higher in some countries with large Muslim populations, such as Nigeria, Jordan and Egypt.

Titled “Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream,” the Pew report draws a picture of a diverse population of about 2.35 million U.S. Muslims, of which two-thirds of the adults were born abroad, and which has a generally positive view of the larger society.

Most call their communities good or excellent places to live, and most report that a large portion of their closest friends are non-Muslims. They are slightly more satisfied than the general public is with the state of the nation.


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