By Conor Friedersdorf
A new Gallup poll shows that they are more likely than Christians or Jews to object to the targeting and killing of civilians
An arm of the Gallup organization based in the United Arab Emirates has just published, in partnership with their U.S. based colleagues, the results of a major polling that compares the attitudes of Muslim Americans to Americans of other faiths. Its title is “Examining U.S. Muslims’ Political, Social, and Spiritual Engagement 10 Years After September 11,” and its most attention grabbing finding is the fact that Muslim Americans are more likely than Christians or Jews to believe that targeting and killing civilians is never justified, whether it is done by the military or an individual. Put another way, Christians and Jews are more comfortable with civilians being targeted and killed by a wide margin.
Here is the distribution of opinion when the military is doing the killing:
Muslims were evenly divided on the question of whether their coreligionists were more obligated than other groups to speak out against terrorism: 49 percent said yes with the same percentage saying no. A majority of all groups say Muslim Americans are loyal to the United States: 93 percent of Muslim Americans think so, along with 80 percent of Jews and 69 percent of the nonreligious, but only a disappointing 59 percent of Catholics and 56 percent of Protestants. Jews were also most likely to agree with Muslims that they face prejudice in America.
Muslims are least likely to believe that it is possible to profile a terrorist “based on gender, age, ethnicity, or other demographic traits,” despite the fact that terrorists are extremely likely to be male, and very unlikely to be children or elderly.
Do a majority of Muslim Americans think that any national Muslim organization represents their interests? Nope:
There is, finally, the question of why people in Muslim countries have an unfavorable view of the United States. A majority of Muslim Americans say it’s based on actions that the U.S. has taken. Everyone else thinks that people in those countries have been propagandized into disliking us: