News / USA

Survey of US Muslim Attitudes Finds Little Support for Extremism

An American flag adorns the stage as worshippers gather for prayer during Eid al-Fitr morning services marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois (File)
An American flag adorns the stage as worshippers gather for prayer during Eid al-Fitr morning services marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois (File)

Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, many Americans have worried about the potential for home grown militancy among Muslims living in the United States. A new survey of American Muslims suggests that a decade after the attacks, there is very little support for extremism. 

The survey by The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life was released just ahead of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks and on the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan.  

According to the survey of more than 1,000 American Muslims, only one percent said suicide bombings and other forms of violence against civilians are often justified to defend Islam from its enemies.

Pew researcher Gregory Smith says that the findings show very little support for extremism among Muslims in the United States.

"The overwhelming number say things like suicide bombings can never be justified," said Smith. "They say they have very unfavorable views of al-Qaida. We also find that Muslims in the United States are very satisfied with their lives. They're satisfied with their communities. They're satisfied with the direction of the country."

Smith notes that the 81 percent of respondents who said suicide attacks are never justified is more than double what surveys have found in some Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East.

The survey also found that around two-thirds of American Muslims say they believe that a way can be found for Israel to exist so that the rights of Palestinians are addressed. The researchers say that is significantly higher than among Muslims in the Middle East.

The Pew survey shows that many American Muslims say they like their communities.  Gregory Smith says that a variety of questions on lifestyle habits such as recycling, watching sports and social networking on the Internet suggest they look very much like the rest of the American public.

"All that said, we shouldn't downplay or forget about that the survey also shows that there are some significant challenges that Muslims face in the United States," he said.

The researchers note that most of the respondents said that it has become more difficult to be a Muslim since the 2001 terrorist attacks.  Around one in five said they had been singled out by airport security.

Still, nearly half said Muslim leaders in the United States have not done enough to speak out against Islamic extremists.


Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid