Muslims in the United States are becoming more religious and politically active, they tend to believe America is an immoral society, and members of the younger generation appear more conservative than their parents, according to a detailed study to be released Tuesday.
The terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, had a lasting effect on the lives of American Muslims and led to two significant changes, the researchers said: More are attending mosques and activities in Islamic centers, and they want to become more involved in American politics to change policies they oppose.
Fallout from the attacks "made them realize they are a vulnerable community," said lead researcher Ihsan Bagby, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Kentucky. "It accelerated their desire to become more involved both in their own communities and in America. This is an expansion of what it is to be pious. This process was already in place, but was accelerated by 9/11."
For the study, sponsored by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a Michigan think-tank that studies Islamic issues, 1,298 Detroit-area Muslims completed questionnaires in mosques and at social events. Sixty-four percent of the respondents were male and 36 percent female. Researchers also drew some conclusions from interviews with mosque leaders.
Bagby said the study focused on the Detroit area but identified trends typical of the broader Islamic community. There are 6 million to 7 million Muslims in the U.S., according to the most reliable statistics.
Other Islamic experts said the findings do reflect trends among pious U.S. Muslims.
Muslims' Goals: Be Active, Be Moderate
Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 4/6/04
The vast majority of Muslims in metro Detroit say they should be politically active and work more to help non-Muslims, according to a survey to be released today.
Many also favor practicing an Islam that is flexible and moderate.
The findings were among the results of a survey taken last summer of almost 1,300 Muslims in metro Detroit, conducted by the Clinton Township-based Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. The report will be discussed in detail at a two-day conference about the lives of U.S. Muslims beginning Wednesday at Wayne State University.
While Muslims in metro Detroit are eager to take part in America's civic life, they say they are also concerned about their civil rights after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the survey shows...