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Muslims in America
Analysts hope a report on Muslim American by the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies will help discredit myths about the religious community.
March 4, 2009 2:00 by Dana El Baltaji
A report on Muslim Americans by the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies titled Muslim Americans: A National Portrait reveals that Muslim American women are educated, career minded, and earn as much as their male counterparts.
The center’s analysts claim that the results of their research debunk myths about Muslim Americans, and Muslim American women in particular.
“What we learned in the study is that US Muslim women are roughly equal to men and to women who are non-Muslims in America in their level of education, level of income, level of religiosity and mosque attendance,” said Ahmed Younis, a senior analyst at the center, reports AFP.
“The Achilles Heel that has always existed — that Muslims are ‘not like us’ because their women are oppressed — well, the data speak to the proposition that that is absolutely not true,” said Younis.
The study shows that 42 percent of Muslim American women say they have higher education degrees, which is the highest percentage of educated women in any given religious group, second only to Jewish women (58 percent).
The study also showed that monthly salaries earned by Muslim American women are on par with Muslim American men.
As for religiosity, roughly 41 percent of Muslim American and Protestant Americans say they visit a mosque or a church once a week, and 80 percent of Muslim Americans say their religion plays an important in their everyday lives.
Furthermore, the report compared Muslim Americans to Muslim French and British nationals, and showed that 41 percent of Muslim Americans claim they are “thriving” compared with 23 percent in France and 7 percent in Britain.
“Muslims are the most negatively viewed religious community among Americans,” Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies told AFP.
“Only 45 percent of Americans consider Muslims in the country as loyal and 25 percent of Americans said they wouldn’t want to have Muslims as a neighbor,” she said.
According to the survey, 28 percent of Muslim Americans are white, 35 percent are African Americans, 18 percent are Asians, 1 percent are Hispanic and the remaining 18 percent are classified as ‘other’.
The authors of the report hope the results will help the nation ‘rethink’ its understanding of Muslim Americans.
The report is the first study to survey Muslim Americans living in the United States. The sample of respondents used for the report was 300.000 adults, including 946 self-identified Muslims.