NEW YORK, July 26 (APP): Muslims in the United States perceive a lot
of discrimination against their faith, are leery of President Donald
Trump and think their fellow Americans do not see Islam as part of mainstream US society, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
At the same time, the study says that Muslims have received more
support from individual Americans.
“There’s a sense among the American Muslim population that others
are beginning to understand them and beginning to sympathize with them,'” Amaney Jamal, a Princeton University political scientist and adviser to
Pew researchers, was quoted as saying. Prejudice against Muslims has
“pushed the average American to say, ‘This is really not fair. I’m going
to knock on my neighbour’s door to see if they’re all right,” Jamal said.
Pew Research Center on Wednesday released the results of a
far-reaching new survey of Muslims nationwide that highlighted a broad
sense of anxiety and unease about their place in the United States and
with a president who most consider unfriendly toward Muslims.
Pew surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,001 Muslim
adults by telephone between January and May this year, and overall
results carry a six-point margin of sampling error.
The share of US Muslims, who have experienced discriminatory
treatment, is trending upward, the research center found, with 48 percent
of respondents saying they were subjected to at least one discriminatory incident based on religion over the past year, compared with 40 percent a decade ago.
A large majority – 75 percent – said there is a lot of discrimination
against Muslims in the United States. Nearly three-quarters said Trump is unfriendly toward Muslims, compared with just 4 percent who said that of President Barack Obama in 2011. And about two-thirds said they do not like where the nation is headed.
One immigrant Muslim man, who spoke to Pew on the condition of
anonymity, said that the start of Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ – a travel ban that the president sought to enforce against the citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries – felt like the official launch of a campaign
of anti-Muslim persecution.
“Because we had read the history of Europe and what happened to the
Jewish people in Germany,” he said. “These little steps lead to bigger issues later on. So, we really felt we were threatened.”
Most of the estimated 3.35 million Muslims living in the United
States are immigrants or the children of immigrants. And nearly
two-thirds of those surveyed said they think the American public does not consider Islam a part of mainstream society.
The poll finds that Trump is not the only source of mistrust. Six in
10 respondents said they think US media coverage of Islam and Muslims
About a third of Muslims said they have been treated with suspicion at
least once over the past year, the highest in Pew surveys since 2007. Nearly 1 in 5 said they have been called offensive names, and a similar share have seen anti-Muslim graffiti in their communities. Six percent said they were physically threatened or attacked, identical to the share saying this in 2011.
Those who appear Muslim – either because of the way they look,
dress or speak – are significantly more likely to experience
discrimination for being Muslim, and women overall are more likely to
report discrimination than men.
And a significant minority – one third – said they are at least
somewhat worried that the government is tapping their phones because of their religion. The poll finds that 30 percent said they are skeptical
of law enforcement sting operations against suspected terrorists, thinking that authorities mostly arrest “people who were tricked and did not pose a real threat.” More, 39 percent, said Muslims arrested in such operations
are mostly violent people who pose a real threat.