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Overselling the Islam Poll

The blogosphere is all abuzz over the new Gallup poll reporting that American Muslims identify strongly with America. The news is indeed good — 93 percent expressed loyalty to America, and almost 70 percent identify “very strongly” with their country. These numbers are considerably higher than in Europe, where similar polls have revealed numbers as low as 35 percent in Germany who identify with the country. For all the controversy over integration, America has a much better track record than our friends across the pond.

While the report is certainly welcome, the hype and selective reading of the report in the media is not. Sensationalist headlines such as “Muslims are the Most Loyal American Religious Group” misread the report, which makes no such claim. Meanwhile, positive findings (such as the faith of Muslim Americans in our political system) are widely trumpeted, while more nuanced results (a low level of faith in the Military and FBI) are ignored.

The poll is mostly good news with some shadows; the rush to gild the lily and spin the results points to the deep anxieties and strains that still exist in 21st century American life.

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  • Always On Watch

    Certainly, some Muslims must believe as this poll indicates.

    But polls, by their very nature, are not necessarily reliable.

  • Eddie

    Why do you think faith in the FBI & military is less than stellar?

    Would that be the use of torture techniques (claimed so by US governments going back a hundred years until GWB) against Muslims? The perhaps excessive infiltration of informants (a dubious, uneven & often unreliable resource intelligent law enforcement types would admit is best minimally used) into mosques and community centers across the country?

    Now your larger point about the media and political classes (oh wait, the majority of the current crop of GOP types is vehemently anti-Muslim or silent on the often hostile, even anti-American views of the GOP base on Muslims, excepting Gov. Chris Christie) is well-taken… but you have to at least try to give it your typical well-rounded analysis here before you pronounce judgment.

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