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Muslim Americans Are Happier with America Than the General Public

A new study says Muslim Americans love America and reject extremism, despite the fact that they still face alienation.

Fox News and conservative members of Congress have been ginning up fears that Muslim extremists are insidiously trying to pervert America, using things like Sharia law to "undermine [the] founding principles" of the country. This is the stuff anti-Islam nightmares are made of, which in turn leads to anti-Muslim hate crimes that leave people dead. But is there any truth behind it? According to a new study, not a shred.

The Pew Research Center today released its latest study on Muslim Americans' attitudes toward the United States. Not only did the researchers find that Muslim Americans reject extremism at much higher rates than foreign Muslims, they also discovered that there's no evidence to support the fact that Muslim Americans are feeling any more alienated or angry than anyone else. This despite the fact that significant numbers of Muslim Americans (22 percent) report being called offensive names due to their religion. Twenty-eight percent said they've been subjected to suspicious stares, and a quarter said their place of worship has been the subject of controversy or "outright hostility."

For a perfect explanation of how many Americans just don't get it, consider this: 56 percent of Muslim Americans say that most Muslims who come to the United States want very much to assimilate; only 33 percent of the general public believes that. Have people considered that it's pretty hard to assimilate with communities that refuse to trust you?

With all the hatred the general public dishes out to their Muslim neighbors, perhaps it's not surprising to discover that that very same general public is unhappier with the world than Muslim Americans are. Probably the most interesting fact in the study is that a full 56 percent of Muslim Americans are happy with America while only 23 percent of the general public agrees.

photo via (cc) Flickr user Franco Folini

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