Who’s optimistic about America’s future? American Muslims

I’m off for the next two weeks but will return around Aug. 22 with my annual report on religious elements in my beach reading.

I think I’m starting with “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” which I’ve been trying to get to for years.

Come fall, I’ll try to post a bit more often than I’ve done of late. It’s tough, being that I’m mostly covering education these days, we have a lot of 9/11 anniversary stuff in the works, and there are plenty of other demands on our small, but committed-as-ever staff.

One interesting note: A new study from the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center, a partnership with Gallup polling machine, finds that American Muslims are more satisfied with their American lives that members of other faith groups.

They say they face discrimination, but that they are thriving in general.

According to the Washington Post:


…almost two in three Muslims said their standard of living is improving, up 18 percentage points from 2008 and higher than any other faith group surveyed. This is the same period that Muslim leaders say has been the most oppressive for Muslims in this country, with rhetoric against their faith group appearing to rise.


An LA Times write-up includes this:


The polling also indicates significant common ground between Muslims in America and their Jewish counterparts. The two groups largely share similar views on resolving the decades-long conflict in the Middle East. Eighty-one percent of Muslim Americans and 78% of Jewish Americans support the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. A majority of Jewish Americans, 70%, also said they didn’t believe American Muslims sympathized with Al Qaeda. The only respondents more likely to agree were Muslim Americans themselves.


The Forward also notes the similarities between Muslim and Jewish thinking:


What may be surprising is the Gallup poll’s finding that in many respects, Muslim Americans most resemble… Jews. Sixty percent of Muslims say they are thriving here; ditto, American Jews. Almost all (93%) of the Muslims in Gallup’s survey believe that other Muslims are loyal to America; Jews (80%) are the religious group most likely to agree with that statement. Jews are also among the least likely religious groups to think that Muslim Americans sympathize with al Qaeda, and both groups consider the war with Iraq a big mistake.

There’s more. Muslim Americans are the most likely of any major religious group (80%) to approve of President Obama’s job performance. And who is next on that list? Yep, the Jews.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.