CAIR: MUSLIMS ARE POLITICALLY ACTIVE, LEAN DEMOCRATIC, SURVEY SAYS
American Muslims are religiously diverse, well integrated into American society and politically active, and they lean toward the Democratic Party, according to a recent survey.
"The survey confirms anecdotal observations of the Muslim community that it's really diverse on all levels," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, an Islamic advocacy group. The council, based in Washington, D.C., surveyed 1,000 Muslim voters in the United States regarding demographic profiles, political leanings and levels of social integration.
The survey shows that 31 percent attend a mosque on a weekly basis; 16 percent attend once or twice a month and 27 percent said they seldom or never attend a mosque.
Nearly 90 percent of American Muslims are regular voters, the survey found. But no clear majority of party affiliation exists among American Muslims. Of those surveyed, 17 percent said they were Republican, while 42 percent said they were Democrat and 28 percent said they did not belong to any party, the report found.
"Muslims are not beholden to any particular party," Mr. Hooper said. "They are issue-driven voters. If a candidate supports the issues important to them, they will vote for them regardless of party."
Chattanooga resident Salih Acarbulut said American Muslims, though they are well integrated, have to deal with misconceptions about Islamic values.
"The biggest issue that we see as Muslims is the notion that Muslims are anti-American," Mr. Acarbulut said. "The administration and the media have sold that idea, and that's really probably the most painful part."
In 2000, the majority of Muslims voted for Republican candidates, according to the report. Over the past several years Muslim political affiliation has shifted because of issues such as the war in Iraq and the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Now, Mr. Hooper said, parties are not reaching out to Muslim voters very much.
"There is some outreach particularly from the Democrats," Mr. Hooper said. "Unfortunately, there are a number of Republican candidates who are exploiting the Muslim prejudice."