American Muslims are eager to participate in political life
Arab Voice, 5 January 2002.
Muslim Americans would like their communities to be more fully engaged with the political process, according to a recent survey. Ninety-three percent of those surveyed encourage such engagement and participation. Fifty-two percent said that members of their community have been discriminated against since September 11. Most surveyed (77 percent) agreed that Hollywood does not do justice to the image of Muslims.
Zogby International and the Project for the Study of Muslim Participation in Public Life at Georgetown University polled 1,781 Muslims in the United States. A key findings was that 67 percent of those polled said the best way to combat terrorism is to change the U.S. policy in the Middle East.
They asked about party affiliation: 40 percent consider themselves Democrats, 23 percent Republicans, 28 percent independents. Seventy-nine percent are registered voters and 85 percent of them intend on voting in elections. As far as political tendencies go, 36 percent consider themselves liberal, 21 percent conservative.
Ninety-three percent want the government to take a more active role in fighting poverty and providing better access to healthcare. As mentioned above, 93 percent encourage increased engagement in American political life, and 96 percent of those support participation in American civic institutions. Seventy-seven percent of them are already active in institutions that provide help and assistance to the poor, elderly and the infirm.
Additionally, 71 percent of American Muslims are active in mosques and religious establishments, and 69 percent are active in schools and youth programs. Forty-six percent are active in institutions that provide vocational training.
On the other hand, the study points to the decline of Muslim American participation in public affairs organizations by 33 percent.
This article appeared in Edition 5 of Voices That Must Be Heard
Included by permission of Arab Voice.