Archive for Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Survey: Most Muslim-Americans feel targeted by terror policies

Still, 79 percent rate communities as good places to live Hope Yen Associated Press

August 30, 2011


— More than half of Muslim-Americans in a new poll say that government anti-terrorism policies single them out for increased surveillance and monitoring, and many report increased cases of name-calling, threats and harassment by airport security, law enforcement officers and others.

Still, most Muslim-Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. and rate their communities highly as places to live.

The survey by the Pew Research Center, one of the most exhaustive ever of the country’s Muslims, finds no signs of rising alienation or anger among Muslim-Americans despite recent U.S. government concerns about homegrown Islamic terrorism and controversy over the building of mosques.

“This confirms what we’ve said all along: American Muslims are well integrated and happy, but with a kind of lingering sense of being besieged by growing anti-Muslim sentiment in our society,” said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington, D.C.-based Muslim civil rights group.

“People contact us every day about concerns they’ve had, particularly with law enforcement authorities in this post-9/11 era,” he said.

Muslim extremists hijacked the planes on Sept. 11, 2001, crashing them into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pa.

In all, 52 percent of Muslim-Americans surveyed said their group is singled out by government for terrorist surveillance. Almost as many, 43 percent, reported they had personally experienced harassment in the past year, according to the poll released today.

That 43 percent share of people reporting harassment is up from 40 percent in 2007, the first time Pew polled Muslim-Americans.

Asked to identify in what ways they felt bias, about 28 percent said they had been treated or viewed with suspicion by people, while 22 percent said they were called offensive names. About 21 percent said they were singled out by airport security because they were Muslim, while another 13 percent said they were targeted by other law enforcement officials. Roughly 6 percent said they had been physically threatened or attacked.

On the other hand, the share of Muslim-Americans who view U.S. anti-terror policies as “sincere” efforts to reduce international terrorism now surpasses those who view them as insincere — 43 percent to 41 percent. Four years ago, during the presidency of George W. Bush, far more viewed U.S. anti-terrorism efforts as insincere than sincere — 55 percent to 26 percent.

The vast majority of Muslim-Americans — 79 percent — rate their communities as either “excellent” or “good” places to live, even among many who reported an act of vandalism against a mosque or a controversy over the building of an Islamic center in their neighborhoods.

They also are now more likely to say they are satisfied with the current direction of the country — 56 percent, up from 38 percent in 2007. That is in contrast to the general U.S. public, whose satisfaction has dropped from 32 percent to 23 percent.

Andrew Kohut, Pew president, said in an interview that Muslim-Americans’ overall level of satisfaction was striking.

“I was concerned about a bigger sense of alienation, but there was not,” Kohut said, contrasting the U.S. to many places in Europe where Muslims have become more separatist. “You don’t see any indication of brewing negativity. When you look at their attitudes, these are still middle-class, mainstream people who want to be loyal to America.”


TopJayhawk 6 years ago

How would you expect to be treated otherwise? It is a war started by people that use your religeon to kill people. If they were looking for middle aged Welsh guys, I would expect some blow back at me.

Get over it.

voevoda 6 years ago

Well, TopJayhawk, Catholics and Protestants in Ireland used religion to kill people for decades recently, but there wasn't any "blow back" against Irish Catholic and Irish Protestant Americans in this country. The "blow back" against German-Americans during World War I and against Japanese-Americans during World War II has now been definitively proven to be unnecessary, insulting, stupid, and unconstitutional. Anyone tempted to justify anti-Muslim hysteria now ought to keep those historical precedents firmly in front of their eyes.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

The difference-- millions of homegrown fundy Christians really do want to establish a theocracy here. The vast majority of Muslims do not.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

You don't "mean" anything. You're just regurgitating at random.

voevoda 6 years ago

Your link, snap_pop_no_crackle, confirms the findings of the article: Muslim Americans are frequently judged to be guilty by association because a few (mostly foreign) Muslims are terrorists. But despite comments such as yours, most American Muslims eschew violence and want to be accepted as equal members of our diverse, multi-religious, free society.

Shane Garrett 6 years ago

"contrasting the U.S. to many places in Europe where Muslims have become more separatist. You don’t see any indication of brewing negativity. When you look at their attitudes, these are still middle-class, mainstream people who want to be loyal to America.” The United States wins again as a free and open society.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"The United States wins again as a free and open society."

Not much longer if the new breed of Republicans get their way.

Shane Garrett 6 years ago

Sorry, I refuse to fall for the fear factor. Only if there is a de-evolution of american society will we believe again in an enemy called "them".

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Well, wally, you obviously are unaware of Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, et al, and their fan clubs.

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