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Highlights of Pew Report--Dawud Walid (CAIR-MI)

As-Salaamu `Alaykum:

I forwared the following summary to the local Islamic leaders and imams in Metro Detroit. 

I was blessed with the opportunity to listen to the entire press conference regarding Pew's research on the American Muslim community.  Besides the report, which you all can read at, I'd like to give you a brief summary of some points.

1) The study puts the Muslim community at 2.35 million people instead the normally accepted 6 million American Muslims. The political implications are that if there are almost 4 million less Muslims in America, Muslims' votes or the need to listen to the Muslims is not as incumbent.

2) 80% of American Muslims see themselves as satisfied in America as far as educational and economic opportunities and that they see a future for themselves in America.  With African-American Muslims, however, the percentage is much lower due to socio-economic disparities.

3) 26% of American Muslim youth condone suicide bombings to a degree including civilians.  Civilian was clearly inserted into the question that I was forwarded.  2% said they strongly agreed, 13% said in some cases, and 11% said rarely.  That means 1 out of 4 Muslim youth.  The context, however, that I learned from the press conference, which is not in the written report is that they were not answering in regards to suicide bombing in America.  It pertained to resistance of the Palestinians against the Israelis vis a viz the fatwa of Shaykh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi (Al-Qaradawi wasn't mentioned by name; Pew stated foreign scholars and extremists websites). Only 5% of all Muslims believe that suicide bombing is acceptable meaning that the majority of the 5% are below the age of 26.

4) No single ethnic group has more than 8% of the Muslim population in America (i.e. Pakistani, Indian, Bengali, Yemeni, Bosnian, Palestinian, etc) except for African-Americans.

5)  65% of Muslims in America were not born in America.  This contradicts previous studies that say 80% of Muslims in America were born here.  They attribute this to immigration patterns starting in the late 60s then increasing again in the 90s.

6) 74% of Muslims say that their level of faith is the same as it was in their homelands or has increased since living in America.

7) Pakistani Muslims attend masajid more frequently than other ethnic groups at 57%.  Iranians attend the least at 7%.

8) 23% of American Muslim population are reverts, African-Americans being 92% of reverts.

9)  61% of American Muslims believe that there can be peace with Israel with Palestinians are treated fairly.

10)  African-American Muslims are least likely to denounce Al-Qaeda.

11) Most Muslims do not accept that Arabs were behind 9/11.

12) 47% of Muslims see themselves as Muslim firstly and American secondly.  41% of Christians see themselves the same way.  62% of White Evangelical Christians see themselves that way.  Meaning that White Evangelical Christians are further outside of the sentiments of mainstream America than Muslims; Muslims are basically in the center.

Problematic points in Pew's summary for community:

1) Some problems in methodology relating to how they determined the American Muslim population based upon their own admissions.

2) American Muslim youth are far more likely to accept that suicide bombings, even if civilians are killed, is acceptable in Islam than adults.

3) African-Americans are the most radical and disillusioned ethnic group within the Muslim community, which is about 1 in 4 Muslims

Thus, have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves; and We appointed the Qibla to which thou wast used, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels (From the Faith). Indeed it was (A change) momentous, except to those guided by Allah. And never would Allah Make your faith of no effect. For Allah is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful.

Quran: 2:143
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