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U.S. Muslims are more tolerant and against violence than most Americans.

Political candidates like Donald Trump are pushing for Muslim American profiling and the shutting down of mosques. But in reality, Muslim Americans are actually more tolerant and more against violence than a lot of other American citizens.

The Pew Research Center conducts studies to provide accurate information about the attitudes, trends and issues that shape America and the rest of our world. These studies include demographic studies, content analysis, public opinion polls, and other pragmatic social science research. The Center does not take any positions regarding policy issues.

A major Pew survey in 2011 showed that religion is just as important to Muslim Americans as it is to Christian Americans, and both Christians and Muslims attend their religious services with nearly the same amount of regularity. Compared to 30% of Christians, only 35% of Muslims believed their religion to be the “only true faith.” 64% of American Christians and most Muslim Americans feel that religions other than theirs can result in eternal life, and Muslims are by far, less prone than Evangelicals to scriptural literalism.

The majority of Muslim Americans are actually more likely to view themselves as “Americans first, and Muslims second.” Over two-thirds of Evangelical Christians consider themselves as Christians first and Americans second. Muslim Americans are also the least likely U.S. religious assemblage to strongly identify with other Muslims abroad.

93% of Muslim Americans have non-Muslim friends they are close with, with the majority of their friends being non-Muslims. Also, 92% of American Muslims are not in opposition to women working outside of their homes.  62% of them were also fine with Muslims and non-Muslims marrying one another. However, in 2014, PEW discovered that 77% of Evangelical Christians were unhappy with immediate family members marrying atheists.

American Muslims score higher than most other religious groups on Gallup’s “religious tolerance” index, which categorizes people as either “tolerant,” “isolated,” or “integrated,” basing it on how much they agree five statements about different religions.

Back in 2010, Gallup inquired as to whether the military targeting and killing of civilians could be justified. American Muslims ended up being the only religious group in opposition to such targeting. Catholics, Protestants and Jews all believed it was justifiable and were also 2 times as likely to support “targeting and killing by individuals or small groups” than any other faith.

83% of U.S. citizens dismiss violent acts by Christians as “not being committed by ‘true’ Christians,” however, only 48% apply that same logic to Muslims.

Case in point, Americans should never let the fear of terrorism of any kind dictate their lives. Americans killed more individuals on any two days in the past year than were murdered by terrorist acts within the past 10 years. Banning Muslims and shutting mosques down is not going to make the country any safer. Instead of treating Muslims as enemies, Americans need to view Muslim American peers as allies and unite in our fight for peace and freedom.

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