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New Pew Poll Released, May 22, 2007: “Muslim Americans: Mostly Middle Class and Mainstream”
“The first-ever, nationwide, random sample survey of Muslim Americans finds them to be largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world.”
Key findings include: “Overall, Muslim Americans have a generally positive view of the larger society. Most say their communities are excellent or good places to live. A large majority of Muslim Americans believe that hard work pays off in this society. Fully 71% agree that most people who want to get ahead in the United States can make it if they are willing to work hard. The survey shows that although many Muslims are relative newcomers to the U.S., they are highly assimilated into American society. On balance, they believe that Muslims coming to the U.S. should try and adopt American customs, rather than trying to remain distinct from the larger society. And by nearly two-to-one (63%-32%) Muslim Americans do not see a conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society.”
However the results highlighted by the pollster, Pew Research Center are a far cry from some of the media’s reporting on the same poll. In some news stories, the headlines and focus has been quite the opposite, emphasizing instead the percentage of young Muslims who say that suicide bombing is justified. For instance, AP’s headline reads “Some US Muslims say suicide attacks OK” compared with the BBC’s headline, “Muslims ‘well integrated’ in US”.
ING representatives comment on media reports of poll, as follows:
Survey: Most U.S. Muslims Moderates
By Kim Vo, San Jose Mercury News
…”I think the report is generally very positive,” said Maha Elgenaidi, President of ING, an educational foundation in San Jose. “Most Muslims have good jobs; good lives, live the American dream, and want that for their children.” Elgenaidi stressed that only a small number of Muslims believed that violence could be justified-and she criticized attempts to combine the “rarely,” “sometimes” and “often” categories to conclude 1 in 4 young Muslims approve of suicide bombings. “It’s disingenuous,” she said….
“…Imran Maskatia with ING rejects any links with bombings and Islam…”
EVENTS OF NOTE:
ING Speakers Present at Moreau Catholic High School – 5/14/07 – 5/16/07
ING speakers Uzma Husaini, Hosai Mojaddidi, and Imran Maskatia delivered a series of presentations over a two day period at Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward on Monday and Tuesday mornings, May 14th and 15th to four different World History classes. Moreau has hosted ING speakers for many years now. The presentation included an Orientation on Islam and Muslims and included an interactive question and answer session with the students throughout the presentation.
ING Speaker Delivers Presentation on Roots of Islam to Skyline High’s Freshman Class, 5/15-5/16/07
An ING speaker delivered the “The Roots of Islam in America” presentation to the entire freshman class at Skyline High School in Oakland on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 15th and 16th. The presentations, which took place in the school’s auditorium, addressed three classes at a time during six separate periods for a total of 18 classes of ninth graders who heard the presentation. The presentation was timed with their study of Islam and Middle Eastern Geography. They had also just finished a unit on African American roots and history, and were interested in learning more about African American history.
The presentation begins by examining the possibility and evidence that African Muslims came to North America even before Columbus, followed by an overview of the history of enslaved African Muslims, including some prominent figures who won respect from their owners and general society, often gaining their freedom. It then shifts to focus briefly on some of the earliest immigrants, mainly from the Middle East, and notes examples of European-American converts, such as Alexander Russell Webb, whose many contributions to Islam in the U.S. make him the topic of a newly released book by the creator of ING’s Roots presentation, Dr. Umar F. Abd-Allah, titled, A Muslim in Victorian America: The Life of Alexander Russell Webb. The presentation continues with a description of the birth of the Nation of Islam, and its transformation at the hands of Waritheen Muhammad and others. After focusing on a brief history of 19th and 20th century immigrants and some of the earliest mosques they built, the presentation concludes on a high note with mention of Muslim accomplishments and achievements, as well as their aspirations for the future. To schedule a presentation on this often little known topic, please contact the ING office.