American Muslims worried about their safety: poll

Published: March 22, 2017
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

In the wake of Donald Trump being elected president of the United States, minority groups started feeling threatened, especially Muslims. There was a rise in hate crimes including reports of mosques being burnt and Muslims harassed in public.

A poll carried out by The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a non-profit Muslim-focused think thank, backed up claims that Muslims have felt under siege since Donald Trump’s rise to power.

Florida mosque set on fire

The poll was conducted between January 4 and January 23 and the findings are based on 1,249 completed surveys.

The results were announced and discussed on Tuesday at the Newseum in Washington during a panel session.

“With the experience of Trump over the last two months, it’s likely things will get worse,” said panellist Walter Ruby, who is the director of Muslim-Jewish relations programs at the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.

Zainab Chaudry, a spokesperson for Council on American-Islamic Relations said, “For many American Muslims, we live one terrorist attack away from feeling that our communities are going to be thrown under the bus.”

Dalia Mogahed, a third panelist, who was appointed by the Obama administration on faith based parterships, said American Muslims view bigotry second only to economy when it comes to their biggest national concerns.

‘We will have none of it’: fear, optimism among US Muslims

According to Mogahed 11 per cent “signed up for self-defense classes as a direct result of the election.”

Discrimination at home is “a top concern,” the survey says, with 38% of Muslims — and 27% of Jews — saying they’re scared of white supremacist groups.

table 1

Jews and Muslims reported higher levels of fear and anxiety than other faith groups.

Muslim women are also more likely to experience religious discrimination than Muslim men.

Muslims are also twice as likely to report their school- age children being bullied when compared to Jewish Americans. (42 per cent to 23 per cent).

The survey also showed that American Muslims coming back from travelling abroad are more than twice as likely as the general public to face secondary screening at the border.

table 2

One-fifth of American Muslims surveyed also said they had made plans to leave the country if it became necessary.

This story originally appeared on BuzzFeed

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