Muslim Americans 'Overwhelmingly' Satisfied With Their Lives, Poll Finds

Aug 30, 2011

"As the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, a comprehensive public opinion survey finds no indication of increased alienation or anger among Muslim Americans in response to concerns about home-grown Islamic terrorists, controversies about the building of mosques and other pressures that have been brought to bear on this high-profile minority group in recent years," the Pew Research Center reports today.

And it adds that "there also is no evidence of rising support for Islamic extremism among Muslim Americans."

"As in 2007, very few Muslim Americans — just 1 percent — say that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets are often justified to defend Islam from its enemies; an additional 7 percent say suicide bombings are sometimes justified in these circumstances," Pew reports. "Fully 81 percent say that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians are never justified."

On the issue of support for extremism, Pew says that:

"A significant minority (21 percent of Muslim Americans say there is a great deal (6 percent) or a fair amount (15 percent) of support for extremism in the Muslim American community. That is far below the proportion of the general public that sees at least a fair amount of support for extremism among U.S. Muslims (40 percent). And while about a quarter of the public (24 percent) thinks that Muslim support for extremism is increasing, just 4% of Muslims agree."

Also, the study found that 82 percent of the 1,033 Muslim Americans who were surveyed said they are "satisfied ... with the way things are going" in their lives. Pew calls that an overwhelmingly optimistic response — and notes that it's higher than the 75 percent reading in its most recent survey of the general public.

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