Pew Survey Shows American Muslims Are Growing More Liberal

The Pew survey showed 9 in 10 American Muslims said they were proud to be both.

American Muslims are growing more religiously and socially liberal, with the number who say society should accept homosexuality nearly doubling during the past decade, according to a major new survey.

American Muslims are also more likely to identify as political liberals and believe there are multiple ways to interpret the teachings of Islam, the survey found.

Conducted by the Pew Research Center, the survey of 1,001 American Muslims depicts a community in tumult, with the vast majority disapproving of President Donald Trump and worrying about the direction of the country. Even so, many remain hopeful about their future in the United States, the survey found, despite persistent anxiety about Islamic extremism and religious discrimination.

The wide-ranging survey, which was released on Wednesday, solicited opinions on everything from religious practices and politics to terrorism and social values. In addition, Pew found that the American Muslim population has been rising steadily for a decade, adding about 100,000 people per year. An estimated 3.35 million Muslims now live in the United States, just 1% of the overall population.

The survey interviews were conducted in English, as well as Arabic, Farsi and Urdu, between January 23 and May 2, 2017. The average margin of error is plus or minus 5.8 percentage points.

Some of the study’s findings won’t surprise people paying attention during the acrimonious 2016 presidential election, in which Trump repeatedly cast suspicion on American Muslims. Of the 44% of American Muslims who voted in the election, nearly 8 in 10 voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton. Just 8% voted for Trump.

The survey, conducted in the days and months following Trump’s inauguration, portrays a Muslim community still largely wary of the President. Nearly 7 in 10 say Trump makes them feel worried, and 45% say he makes them angry. Nearly three in four Muslims say Trump is “unfriendly” toward members of their faith, and nearly two-thirds are dissatisfied with the direction of the country.

That’s a stark contrast from 2011, when Barack Obama was President. Then, 64% of Muslim-Americans told Pew researchers that Obama was friendly toward Muslims and more than half were satisfied with the direction of the country.

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SOURCE: CNN, Daniel Burke