Things You Should Know About Islam And Muslims In America
America is home to one of the most diverse Muslim populations in the world, including people of almost every ethnicity, country, and school of thought. Although they are widely viewed as recent immigrants, the demographics tell a different story.
While exact numbers are difficult to establish, there are between 3-6 million American Muslims.
About one-half of this population was born in the U.S., a percentage that continues to grow as immigration slows and younger individuals start having families.
Despite the fact that Muslims in the US now number at least 3.6 million, most Americans still know very little about them. Worse, perceptions of Muslims have been heavily distorted and politicized in recent years, and at least 48% of Muslim Americans have reported experiencing discrimination in some form.
Because discrimination is often rooted in misinformation and misperception, education and fact-checking are key in eliminating it as are compassion, kindness, and having a “neighborly faith.”
The next time you hear someone perpetuating a myth or stereotype about Muslim Americans, you can help them and your Muslim neighbors by sharing helpful facts listed in this article that many people may not know.
In this article, MTC has provided you with Things You Should Know About Islam And Muslims In America
1. Allah is the Arabic word for God, not a proper name.
Despite the title of a recent well-meaning book (God and Allah Need to Talk), God and Allah do not need to talk because “Allah” is the word for “God” in Arabic. Jews and Christians, when speaking Arabic, refer to God as Allah.
2. Muslim Americans oppose violence more than any other religious group
A robust majority of Muslims find the idea of military attacks on civilians to be categorically indefensible.
In comparison, between 43-64% of other groups (including Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, and atheists) believed that such attacks could be justifiable under certain conditions.
For Muslim Americans, especially young people, it is a challenge to have to continually explain that they are as appalled as any American (if not more so) by violence in the name of their religion.
Instead of being able to grieve the loss of human life along with everyone else, Muslims are often required to “denounce” the terror and defend their own faith, convincing people they are not “extremists.” This is a distraction for them from their own work.
The Study of Islam group of the American Academy of Religion is one of many groups that have gathered the evidence of hundreds and hundreds of condemnations by Muslim groups of terrorist acts.
3. The vast majority of Muslims are proud to be Americans
Despite the common accusation that Muslims are anti-American and unwilling to assimilate, 92% of American Muslims report being proud to call themselves Americans.
Most are satisfied and optimistic about their experiences in the US and the nation’s outlook in general, and most view themselves as well-integrated into American culture.
4. Muslims are among the most tolerant religious groups in America.
Muslim Americans expressed tolerance or optimistic views of other faiths while remaining personally loyal to Islam.
The majority accept the idea of marriage between Muslims and non-Muslims, and an even greater number report close friendships with non-Muslims.
Muslims are the group likeliest to experience religious discrimination in public spaces. Although Jews (58%) and Muslims (60%) experience similar levels of religious discrimination overall, more Muslims do so in institutional settings like airports, workplaces, and healthcare facilities.
Americans who identify as Republicans and those without a college degree exhibit Islamophobia at a higher rate than others.
However, race and religiosity do not appear to be determining factors.
5. American Muslims take part in all aspects of American civic life
They are members of the Boy and Girls Scouts, Elks Lodges, Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, and Veterans of Foreign Wars as well as members of school boards and volunteers in community centers.
American Muslims have created institutions of their own in the United States, just like other religious communities.
There are many long-established groups, such as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an umbrella organization of some 300 mosques and Islamic centers based in Indiana, and newer organizations like the Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals.
Many Islamic centers and institutions create programs serving both American Muslim communities and the wider public.
6. In America Islam is not a political movement
Islam is a religious tradition, and adherents to Islam are called Muslims.
Of course, American Muslims, like Americans from other religious groups, participate in American political life. American Muslim voting patterns generally mirror the broader American population.
American Muslims are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, liberals, and conservatives. There is no one political platform or agenda for those who practice the religion of Islam in the United States.
7. American Muslim leaders support freedom of expression and religious liberty
Many American Muslim leaders, educational institutions and advocacy groups have repeatedly spoken out for freedom of expression and are actively involved in promoting religious liberty for all people both in the United States and abroad.
8. Muslim women are often highly educated, highly compensated leaders
Most Muslim American women were more educated than both the average American and Muslim European woman, and 92% of US Muslims don’t oppose Muslim women working outside the home.
Compared with Muslim American men, these women report less of a wage gap than other American women in any religious group.
Muslim American women also champion equity through their scholarship, civic engagement, and activism.
9. Islam is not a religion of war.
But neither is it a religion of peace. Islam, like Judaism, is a multi-vocal, evolving religious civilization that includes within its texts, traditions and practitioners a great variety of ideas, including those that can be used to justify violence and those that can inspire the opposite.
Islam does not “say” anything. Muslims do. When Muslim Americans are confronted with the charge that their religion is essentially one of violence, they often respond with a similarly essentialist statement, arguing that the religion is all about peace.
While the defensiveness is understandable, neither claim does justice to the nuances of a civilization spread over five continents and 1300 years.
10. Islam does not promote oppressing women
While there may be laws, governments, systems, groups, and people that use Islam to justify the oppression of women, Islam as a religion is not does not promote oppressing women, in fact many tenets of Islam promote equality among all people.
Many American Muslims agree that the Prophet Muhammad dramatically advanced the status of women in 7th century Arabia.
Islam teaches that women have the right choose to their own husbands, that both gender have an obligation to learn and become educated and that women have the right to own and inherit property; there are even stories about the Prophet Muhammad encouraging married couples to focus on sexual satisfaction for both partners.
What are the most important things to know about Muslims?
Muslims are monotheistic and worship one, all-knowing God, who in Arabic is known as Allah. Followers of Islam aim to live a life of complete submission to Allah. They believe that nothing can happen without Allah’s permission, but humans have free will.
What are 5 things about Muslims?
The Five Pillars of Islam
Profession of Faith (shahada), Prayer (salat), Alms (zakat), Fasting (sawm), Pilgrimage (hajj).
Which country in America has the most Muslims?
What is the biggest mosque in America?
Islamic Center of America. The Islamic Center of America is a mosque located in Dearborn, Michigan, in the United States.
What is Islam’s symbol called?
Crescent and Star