Poll Finds U.S. Muslims Thriving (NY Times)


A Gallup poll of Muslims in the United States has found that they are far more likely than people in Muslim countries to see themselves as thriving.

n fact, the only countries where Muslims are more likely to see themselves as thriving are Saudi Arabia and Germany, according to the poll.

And yet, within the United States, Muslims are the least content religious group, when compared with Jews, Mormons, Protestants and Roman Catholics.

Gallup researchers say that is because the largest segment of American Muslims are African-Americans (35 percent, including first-generation immigrants), and they generally report lower levels of income, education, employment and well-being than other Americans.

But American Muslims are not one homogeneous group, the study makes clear. Asian-American Muslims (from countries like India and Pakistan) have more income and education and are more likely to be thriving than other American Muslims. In fact, their quality of life indicators are higher than for most other Americans, except for American Jews.

“We discovered how diverse Muslim Americans are,” said Dalia Mogahed, executive director and senior analyst of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, which financed the poll. “Ethnically, politically and economically, they are in every way a cross-section of the nation. They are the only religious community without a majority race.”

The Gallup study is significant because it is the first to examine a randomly selected sample of American Muslims. Gallup interviewed more than 300,000 people by telephone in 2008 while conducting broader polls, and focused on 946 who identified themselves as Muslims. (The margin of sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.) . . .

American Muslim women, contrary to stereotype, are more likely than American Muslim men to have college and post-graduate degrees. They are more highly educated than women in every other religious group except Jews. American Muslim women also report incomes more nearly equal to men, compared with women and men of other faiths.

Muslim women in the United States attend mosque as frequently as Muslim men — a contrast with many Muslim countries where the mosques are primarily for men. American Muslims are generally very religious, saying that religion is an important part of their daily lives (80 percent), more than any other group except Mormons (85 percent). The figure for Americans in general is 65 percent. (MORE)

 


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