New Survey Sheds Light On American Muslims

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A survey of Muslims around the globe conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has produced some interesting findings.

The survey, which was made up of more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews with Muslims across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, gave researchers some insight about how U.S. Muslims are different than their brethren overseas.

According to the survey:

“American Muslims are much more likely than Muslims in other countries to have close friends who do not share their faith, and they are much more open to the idea that many religions – not only Islam – can lead to eternal life in heaven.”

“U.S. Muslims are less inclined than their co-religionists around the globe to believe in evolution; on this subject, they are closer to U.S. Christians.”

“Few U.S. Muslims voice support for suicide bombing or other forms of violence against civilians in the name of Islam; 81% say such acts are never justified, while fewer than one-in-ten say violence against civilians either is often justified (1%) or is sometimes justified (7%) to defend Islam.”

James Bell, who helped direct the five-year poll, said: “There's something about U.S. Muslims that is distinctive.” His conclusion is interesting because most Muslims who currently live in the U.S. were born in other countries, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

The data about Muslims having non-Muslim friends sharply contrasts a statement that was made by one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.  

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a follower of Islam, was quoted in 2010 as saying, “I don't have a single American friend, I don't understand them.”

Sources: Christian Science Monitor, Pew Forum