A Reassuring Portrait of America's Muslims

(Wall Street Journal) Bret Stephens and Joseph Rago - Ever since it became clear that three of the four jihadis who bombed London on July 7 were born and bred in England, the British have been taking a hard look at their Muslim neighbors: Do they share the same values? And how many more would-be bombers are among them? If the U.S. is ever attacked by American jihadis, we will no doubt ask the same questions about our Muslim community. Most Arab-Americans aren't Muslim, and most Muslim Americans aren't Arab. According to the 2000 census, there are 1.2 million Americans of Arab descent, of whom only 24% (according to a survey by the Arab American Institute) are Muslim. The rest are mainly Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant. They are also highly successful, with an above-average median household income and an intermarriage rate of over 75%, suggesting they are well on their way toward blending into the great American melting pot. Thanks to a 2004 Zogby International survey, we know that about one-third of Muslim Americans are of South Asian descent; 26% are Arab, and another 20% are American blacks. The most credible study to date, by Tom Smith of the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center, estimates total U.S. Muslim population at 1,886,000. The Zogby survey found that 59% of American Muslims have at least an undergraduate education, making them the most highly educated group in America. Muslim Americans are also the richest Muslim community in the world, with one in three earning more than $75,000 a year. 82% are registered to vote, half of them as Democrats. In these respects, Muslim Americans differ from Muslim communities in Britain and continental Europe, which tend to be poor and socially marginalized. (Wall Street Journal)

2005-08-26 00:00:00

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