CDZ What do American Muslims want?

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Coyote, May 22, 2016.

  1. Coyote
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    Coyote Varmint Staff Member Senior USMB Moderator Gold Supporting Member

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    There are a lot of conflicting claims made about the American Muslim community, and a lot of it, in my opinion, follows a conspiracy theory type logic - particularly those involving some groups hidden agenda to take over America/the world etc and destroy the Constitution. Often there is little solid evidence to support it, just fear-mongering and a certain intellectual lazyness that refuses to look at complex issues for what they are: complex.

    The most disturbing of these views is the claim that a majority of American Muslims want Sharia to be the law of the land (overruling the Constitution) and that subsequently, American Muslims represent a "fifth column", an attitude similar to attitudes towards Japanese Americans during WW2. This attitude culminates in expressions such as Muslims can't be patriotic Americans, Muslims will socially explode once they reach a "critical mass" and start demanding Sharia, etc.

    The points I'd like to look at are:
    What do Muslims in AMERICA want?
    Are they any different than other religious groups in America?
    What does this say about Muslim immigration in America vs other countries?
     
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  2. Coyote
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    Coyote Varmint Staff Member Senior USMB Moderator Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm going to start by posting a post I posted in a thread now closed, because it provides the info I need for this thread.

    Do American Muslims want Sharia to be the "law of the land"?

    Here's some of Pew's poll on American Muslims: Section 5: Political Opinions and Social Values

    None of the questions specifically ask about Sharia, however - there are a number of questions that ask about their views on topics that can be connected to Sharia (for example women's roles, homosexuality etc.):

    Muslim Americans hold more conservative views than the general public about gays and lesbians. However, they have become more accepting of homosexuality since 2007.

    Today, Muslim Americans are more divided on this question: 39% say homosexuality should be accepted, while 45% say it should be discouraged. Four years ago, far more said homosexuality should be discouraged (61%) than accepted (27%).


    The broader public has become more accepting of homosexuality as well. Currently, 58% say homosexuality should be accepted, while 33% say it should be discouraged. In 2006, about half (51%) said homosexuality should be accepted, while 38% said it should be discouraged.


    The changes since 2007 are evident across most demographic groups of Muslim Americans. One exception, though, is older Muslim Americans. Four years ago, 22% of this group said homosexuality should be accepted. Today, 21% say this. The next oldest age group – those 40 to 54 – are almost evenly divided (43% say homosexuality should be accepted; 47% say it should be discouraged). Four years ago, 69% of this group said homosexuality should be discouraged.


    Acceptance of homosexuality has risen significantly among those with high levels of religious commitment (from 16% in 2007 to 30% today) as well as those with medium levels of religious commitment (from 21% in 2007 to 37% today). However, those who express a low level of religious commitment continue to be more accepting (57%) than those with a high religious commitment (30%). Four years ago, 47% of those with low religious commitment said homosexuality should be accepted, compared with 16% among those who express a high commitment.


    Whether Muslim Americans were born in the U.S. or immigrated here seems to make little difference in views toward homosexuality. Currently, 41% of the native born say homosexuality should be accepted, about the same as the 38% of foreign born who say this. In both cases, the numbers are up since 2007 (30% among the native born, 26% among the foreign born).


    Though overall Islam remains more conservative on this issue, it reflects the same trends as the general population over all, and the gap isn't huge and is closing. Compare this with countries, like Egypt or Afghanistan where there is a strong belief in that Sharia should be law of the land and a high intolerance for homosexuality.

    The second area where adherence to a strict model of Sharia exerts an influence that is antithetical to western values is in the role of women, and here again we see distinct differences between Muslims in America and Muslims in the Middle East.

    Nearly seven-in-ten U.S. Muslims (68%) say gender makes no difference in the quality of political leaders. Still, about a quarter (27%) say men make better political leaders. Very few (4%) say women make better leaders. There are only slight differences in views on this between men and women and among various age groups.

    Among the U.S. public, 72% say gender does not determine who will be the better political leader. About one-in-ten each say men (12%) or women (13%) make better leaders.
    On women working outside the home:
    Muslim Americans show strong support for allowing women to join the workforce. Nine-in-ten either completely (72%) or mostly agree (18%) that women should be able to work outside the home. Among the U.S. general public, almost all either completely (81%) or mostly (16%) agree with this.

    Attitudes among Muslim Americans are similar to attitudes among Muslims in Lebanon and Turkey. But support for women working outside the home is considerably smaller in many other Muslim nations. For example, in Egypt, only about six-in-ten say they either completely agree (23%) or mostly agree (39%) that women should be allowed to work outside the home. About four-in-ten (39%) disagree.



    A few other takeaways from the poll:
    • Support for Islamic extremism is negligable.
    • Muslim Americans are religious, but not dogmatic (Many Muslim Americans are highly religious: 69% say that religion is very important in their lives; 70% of Christians say that religion is very important in their lives)

    Overwhelming numbers of Muslim Americans believe in Allah (96%), the Prophet Muhammad (96%) and the Day of Judgment (92%). Yet the survey finds that most reject a dogmatic approach to religion. Most Muslim Americans (57%) say there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of Islam; far fewer (37%) say that there is only one true interpretation of Islam. Similarly, 56% of Muslim Americans say that many different religions can lead to eternal life; just 35% say that Islam is the one true faith that leads to eternal life.

    In this respect, Muslim Americans differ from many of their counterparts in the Muslim world and are similar to U.S. Christians. In the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life’s 2007 U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, 28% of Christians said that there was only one way to interpret the teachings of their religion.

    • On wearing a hijab:
    About a third of Muslim American women (36%) report always wearing the headcover or hijab whenever they are out in public, and an additional 24% say they wear the hijab most or some of the time. Four-in-ten (40%) say they never wear the headcover.

    • On assimilation:
    A majority of Muslim Americans (56%) say that most Muslims coming to the U.S. today want to adopt American customs and ways of life. Far fewer (20%) say that most Muslims coming to the U.S. want to be distinct from the larger American society, with a similar number (16%) volunteering that Muslim immigrants want to do both. Native-born and foreign-born Muslims give similar answers to this question.

    More than six-in-ten American Muslims (63%) see no conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society, twice the number who do see such a conflict (31%). A 2006 Pew Research survey found a nearly identical pattern among American Christians who were asked about a possible conflict between modernity and their own faith. Nearly two-thirds of Christians (64%) said there is no conflict between being a devout Christian and living in a modern society, compared with 31% who did perceive a conflict.


    When ask, who you are:
    [​IMG]

    When you look at all this, as one big picture - two things stand out. There isn't a huge difference between American Muslims and American Christians (ie - the mainstream majority in the US).

    The second thing is - it's impossible to reconcile these views with a desire to have Sharia be the law of the land by even a significant minority much less a majority.
     
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  3. SassyIrishLass
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    SassyIrishLass Diamond Member

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    It all depends on the Muslim, some want to assimilate and others, the radical ones, want to impose their beliefs and law. Same as with any other group
     
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  4. Coyote
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    Coyote Varmint Staff Member Senior USMB Moderator Gold Supporting Member

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    Agree, all groups have their lunatic fringe.
     
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  5. SassyIrishLass
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    SassyIrishLass Diamond Member

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    I cringe when what I call radical Christians say or do stupid stuff. There was one going through Target stores spewing nonsense, she wasn't doing herself any favors and looked like a nut
     
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  6. Coyote
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    Coyote Varmint Staff Member Senior USMB Moderator Gold Supporting Member

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    I've seen that sort of thing, but I often think there is as much mental illness as religion and I feel sorry for them. This is a bit of an aside, but there are studies that show there is often a close tie between mental illness and religiosity - not that religion causes it or most religious people are mentally ill, but that people with mental illness are drawn to religions. There was that guy in Britain for example that hacked a woman to death with a machette and was chasing a cat trying to kill it and he was pretty incoherent. Often when individual examples of whacko religious maniacs come up - religion ends up being blamed and not underlying mental illness.
     
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  7. aaronleland
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    aaronleland Gold Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  8. pillars
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    pillars Diamond Member

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    I imagine that moderate muslims in the U.S. feel the same way, along with feeling afraid that their children who are having difficulties with being immigrants or refugees, will be recruited by Islamist groups.

    It's hard when kids are going through their teens or early twenties...they are all in search of an identity, and immigrant kids even moreso.
     
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  9. pillars
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    pillars Diamond Member

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  10. 320 Years of History
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    320 Years of History Gold Member

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    OMG! There're other people here who are willing to look at facts and consider them in context.

    Kudos, Coyote .
     
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