American Muslim Poll

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: George W. Bush Views: 6275


Project MAPS: Muslims in American Public Square is presenting the results of the first ever systematic poll of American Muslims. The Poll covers the following four areas:

1) Demographics: gender, generation and ethnicity, U.S. born and immigrants, income and education levels, age and occupation.

2) Religious practices: relationship with the mosque, conversion to Islam, importance of religion in their life and interaction between the mosque and politics.

3) Opinion and behavior on social and political issues, party affiliation, voting in the presidential election, foreign policy and other domestic issues relating to religion and public life.

4) September 11th and its aftermath: reaction, backlash, President Bush's handling of the crisis, war against terrorism and military action in Afghanistan

The project commissioned Zogby International to conduct the Poll through phone interviews of a nationwide representative sample of the American Muslim population during the months of November and December 2001. The questionnaire was developed with the help of Dr. Ihsan Bagby, Project MAPS team and staff of Zogby International.

Project MAPS seeks to document the role and contribution of the Muslim community in the American public life.  It is a three-year research project that began in 1999 with the support of The Pew Charitable Trusts. The Pew Charitable Trusts are supporting the MAPS project as part of a larger examination of seven major religious groups in the United States and their place in public life. The Project is housed at Georgetown University's Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

The project team is also working to produce two edited volumes, Who's Who among American Muslims, and a directory of the Islamic Centers and Muslim Organizations. The project website,, has all information of the activities and development of the project.   


Zogby International interviewed 1,781 persons, 18 years and old, nationwide who identify themselves as Muslim. From November 8 through November 19, 2001, phone interviews were conducted. The telephone list was created by matching the zip codes of 300 randomly selected Islamic centers, against their respective local telephone exchanges. Listings of common Muslim surnames were then identified from the local telephone exchanges and called. 

An additional sample of Afro-American Muslims was taken in-person December 7-9, 2001, at locations in New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, GA, and Detroit, MI. The additional surveys were required to account for Afro- American Muslims with Anglo-American or non-Muslim surnames who were not called on in the telephone survey. The percentage of Afro-American respondents was weighted to reflect 20% of the American Muslim population.

The margin of error is 2.4%. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.

Executive Summary

This survey demonstrates an eagerness of American Muslims to fully participate in American public life. This eagerness is tempered by the experience of discrimination since September 11and by negative portrayals of Muslims in the media. Below are the key results.


  • Three quarters of surveyed American Muslims (74%) are under 50.

  • Nearly three fifths (58%) are college graduates.

  • Eighty-five percent are Arab, African, Afro-American or South Asian.

  • Half (50%) earn more than $50,000 annually.

  • Seven in ten (69%) are married.

  • Two fifths (39%) live in the East.

  • Thirty six percent are born in the U.S.

  • Three-fifths (60%) of those not born in the U.S. arrived here after 1980. Over one- third (36%) arrived during 1980-1989, while 24% arrived from 1990 to the present.

  • The American Muslims surveyed were born in 80 countries, including the U.S

Voting Habits

  • Two fifths of American Muslims (40%) are Democrats, 23% are Republican and 28% are independent.

  • Eight in ten (79%) are registered to vote.

  • Of those registered to vote, 85% say they are very likely to vote.

  • Most Muslims not registered to vote say it is because they are not citizens (53%); 71% say they intend to vote.

  • The majority (55%) of Afro-American Muslims voted for Gore, while the majority (54%) of Arabs and 49% of South Asians voted for Bush. A majority of Pakistanis (56%) also voted for Bush.

Political Opinions

  • Over a third (36%) of American Muslims describe themselves as moderate in terms of their political ideology; over one-quarter (27%) say they are liberal to very liberal; one-fifth (21%) say they are conservative to very conservative.

  • One-third of American Muslims have visited political websites (34%) or donated time or money to a political candidate (33%). Forty-five percent have changed their lifestyle in support of a cause, like the environment.

  • Over two-fifths (43%) say it is very important to participate in politics, and 54% of African American Muslims agree on its importance.

  • American Muslims favor big government solutions to issues like health care (93% favor universal health care) and poverty (93% support more generous government assistance to the poor).

  • American Muslims are conservative on many social issues. They support the death penalty (68%); oppose gay marriages (71%); support making abortions more difficult to obtain (57%); oppose physician-assisted suicide (61%), and support banning the sale and display of pornography (65%).

  • In addition, American Muslims support prayer (53%) and the display of the Ten Commandments (59%) in schools, and they support vouchers to send their children to private schools (68%).

Participation in Mainstream American Life

  • American Muslims almost unanimously support donations to non-Muslim social service programs, like aid to the homeless (96%), efforts to become more involved in civic organizations (96%) and participation in the American political process (93%).

  • Over three-fourths (77%) of American Muslims are active in organizations that help the poor, sick, elderly or homeless.

  • Seven in ten (71%) are active at their Mosque or at other religious organizations.

  • Over two thirds (69%) are active in school or youth programs.

  • Nearly half (46%) are active in a professional organization.

  • American Muslims are less active in public affairs organizations (33%), veteran's organizations (24%) and labor unions (17%).

  • The majority (54%) do not consider America an immoral society.

  • Seventy percent immigrant Muslims does not agree that America is an immoral society, though, U.S. born Muslims (49%) and African American Muslims (57%) are at odds with the morality of American society.

  • Most American Muslims (68%) do not feel the portrayal of Muslims and Islam in the media is fair. Three in four (77%) do not consider the treatment of Muslims and Islam in Hollywood fair.

Religious Practice

  • Two-thirds (66%) American Muslims offer some of the daily prayers (salah). Nearly half (47%) say they offer all five prayers daily. Slightly more than one-fifth (22%) say they make salah occasionally or go for only Eid prayer, while 13% accept they never pray.

  • Half of American Muslims attended their mosque for Friday or daily prayer in the preceding week (49%).

  • Younger American Muslims aged 18-24 (62%) and African American Muslims (69%) are more likely to be involved in activities at their Mosque than American Muslims as a whole (48%).

  • Eight in ten say the role of Islam and the importance of spirituality in their daily lives is very important (79% each).

  • The majority (57%) says mosques should express their views on social and political questions.

  • One-fifth (19%) of American Muslims are convert to Islam. Reading about religion and influenced by a fellow Muslim are the main reasons for conversion (38% and 22%).

Impact of September 11th

  • President Bush earns an overall 58% approval rating from American Muslims on his handling of the terrorist attacks on September 11. Also, two-thirds (66%) agree with the Bush administration's assertion that the war is being fought against terrorism, not Islam.

  • Despite this approval, three-fifths (61%) feel the attacks could have been prevented, almost two thirds (64%) feel the military effort could lead to further terrorist attacks and over two-thirds (68%) say the military effort could lead to a more unstable Middle East.

  • Half of the American Muslims (51%) support the military action against Afghanistan, while 43% oppose it.

  • Over three-fourths (79%) say American foreign policy in the Middle East led to the attacks, while two thirds (67%) suggest that a change in America's policy in the Middle East is the best way to wage the war against terrorism.

  • A majority of American Muslims (57%) says the attitude of Americans toward Muslims and Arabs since September 11 has been unfavorable.

  • A majority (52%) of Muslims say individuals, businesses or religious organizations in their community have experienced discrimination since September 11. The most commonly kind of discrimination has been verbal abuse, cited by one-quarter (25%) of respondents.

Foreign Policy Issues

  • A vast majority (84%) of American Muslims agrees that the US should support a Palestinian state.

  • Seventy percent agree that the US should reduce its financial support to Israel.

  • Three-fifth (61%) agrees, and one fifth (22%) disagrees, that the US should reduce its support of undemocratic regimes in the Muslim world.

  • Almost two third (63%) agree with the Secretary of State's description that the Kashmir issue is the central issue between India and Pakistan. One-fifth (21%) has no opinion on the issue.

Access: Full Report (HTML) | Full Report (PDF) | MAPS Site

  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: George W. Bush
Views: 6275

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Older Comments:
The poll shows the ignorance of muslims in America.I feel very strange that they call themselves democrats and republicans instead of calling themselves muslims.It also says States should support democratic govt.Does Islam advocates democracy as practice on this earth? Some had also no shame to say they dont pray 5 times a day.Doesnt they know that offering salah 5 times is compulsory? Dont they know that they have to submit only before Allah and no one else.Dont they know that America is mainly responsible for killing of Muslims around the world ? and they say they support Bush for killing Muslims.
MAy Allah forgive them for thier ignorance.

I sensed that David Rosenberg is not muslim, but... I guess he has common sense more than those polled who say are muslims.

In the name of allah the most Gracious the most merciful.
It was a grave mistake when arab americans groups (like CAIR)encourage the above people to vote republican,feel remorse you placed Bush to kill our kind, feel the hellfire because you committed shirk by trying to be American,check with our true schlors of Islam,once you declare your shahadah and everytime you make salat you are declaring that you are allah is one Prophet Mohammed (pbuh)is the seal of the prophet and to live your life on earth by his(Allah)law and party doing other wise is shirk.I ask you who is more just Allah law and constituition or the Republican or Democratic party. look around the world is their that has chosen democracy and is just and happy,none.Allah is my witness I told you the shariah is the only system we muslims should vote,we as a block(one)can be an example to those ignorant of islam( white americans)and yourselves who try so hard to be like them,look closerin your family wives and daughters not covering sons listening to dirty rap songs and dress like vagrants,are you muslim fathers and mothers ashamed you will feel the pain now and in the hellfire because every sheppard is responsible for his sheep and will be asked what direction you led sheep,shariah,democratic or republican.

Voting Habits

Two fifths of American Muslims (40%) are Democrats, 23% are Republican and 28% are independent.

Eight in ten (79%) are registered to vote.

Of those registered to vote, 85% say they are very likely to vote.

Most Muslims not registered to vote say it is because they are not citizens (53%); 71% say they intend to vote.

"The majority (55%) of Afro-American Muslims voted for Gore, while the majority (54%) of Arabs and 49% of South Asians voted for Bush. A majority of Pakistanis (56%) also voted for Bush" can they vote in american elections ?? Doesn't matter if you vote for the lesser of two evils. Still you vote for evil. All those muslims beeing killed by american politics that you chose it to be. May Allah forgive you...

Salaam,I dont agree with bush but in a way i dont agree what bin laden has done.Killing so many people in the name of ALLAH is not the way.ALLAH never told us to go and kill people like this.This is a work of evil.And beause of him people is Afganistahn have to pay the price.And he is hiddeing like a chikien in the caves.And beacuse of him Musliam have a bad name now.If he is that brave and a man why he does not come out and show his face like a brave Musliam man.If i have a chance to bring him to justice i will and very pain full.He is not a man for his words.I am proud to be an American Musliam.

Salaam alaykom,

How do I get registered for the polling sample? I was not polled and I am probably not part of the sample do we participate?



ABBAS said:
I am suprised anyone would support BUSH at that high of a percentage. Was that percentage just to show the political people in power of the USA that we do support them no matter what they do...I wish somebody can answer that.

..This does nt seem "real" to me 66% of american muslims support George Bush on his actions towards terrorists???
i sincerly hope not ...

This is a great poll. It would also be worth while if there was an accurate population tally of American muslims. I here between 6 and 10 million, which is alot of error. This maybe done by requiring all Muslims to register at a particular mosque once and summate the tallies at all mosques.

asalamu alaykum brothers and sisters
i have little common to say first is why are we afreid of the (muushraakiins) and second why are we friend with them we have to wake up from the darkness we are the ummah of nabiyuna muhammed and follow his steps to go to jannah and if don't follow u will be (daaliimiin) and we don't be award allah (swc) will be angry for as have we ever aske our self why are in earth think about it


Many thanks to those who sponsored this research excercise. A job well done, and long overdue. Surely, this poll will be picked up by "foreign press", and reported on. Thereby, providing insight to "foreigners" who wonder about America.

My money is on NO PRESS COVERAGE in the USA on this poll. I realize that would be a shame, but there is a precendence of twisted and contorted "news" reported in our mass media market.

JAN said:
I am suprised anyone would support GWB at that high of a percentage. He is has a narrow view of the world and Muslims in particular. He is an unbalanced man who should be on medication. How can he cliam it's not a war on Islam when one looks around the world and we see the many bleeding wounds of the Muslim world and unfortunately the many so called Muslim political leaders are a bunch of cowards.

I am surprised at the results of this poll. It is
quite obvious that Mr. Bush is targeting the
Muslims especially the Arabs quite
relentlessly. The Muslims you interviewed are
deluding themsleves, if they think this is Just a
war on terrorism. In my opinion this is clearly
an attack on Islam.

I was very surprised at the percentage of American Muslims that support the war in Afghanistan (54%) and at the number of American Muslims that would want the U.S. to support a Palestinian state (84%). I want to know whether those 16% who didn't think that the United States should support a Palestinian state were against a Palestinian state? I read in a poll that 85% of American Jews supported the idea of a Palestinian state, so why are the American Muslims only 84%?

There method of choosing the sample did not account for non-African-American reverts to Islam, including those of Hispanic and Non-Hispanic origins. This is a serious ommission in the study.

Excellent. This is a great step towards creating a political, socio-national awareness for Muslim Americans.

Interesting how many of the people who post to your comment boards seem to differ from the American Muslims polled. I applaud American Muslims who have a level head about the current world situation. It seems that foreign Muslims may be dragging them into something that they know is wrong: fanaticism, hatred, intolerance, paranoia and teachings that go against God. Perhaps American Muslims could be an example for the rest of the world: they can be faithful to God without hating and perpetuating violence.

Very informative piece of work. I wish the Jews would also do this sort of poll. Then we can judge where the truth lies. As masters of lies, though the latter seem to exaggerate numbers by six million times.
John Walker II

Excellent Poll. However, I doubt that 30% of American Muslims still support the financial package of billions of dollars that Israel receives from the US. The margin of error here is probably wrong and your statistician should clearly review the numbers. I would say only 3% instead of 30%. Bravo, James Zogby!!!

I applaud David Rosenberg. The sooner we wake up the better it is going to be for all humanity!

Us should not support Israel but to make both neutrally.Us shuld realise what is the cause of clashes in between.only the Land of palestine.should come back to them as Palestine State.US should play impartial roll.

its about time people started to recognize muslims
in america as an important facet of the national
community. however; the pollers should have been
educated enough to recognize that one is NOT
muslim just because one feels that that is
afitting title----to be muslim one must submit
fully to Allah(SWA). submission comes from
observing all of your obligations to Allah(SWA);in
order to be muslim you MUST pray.prayer is what
seperates us from the unbelievers.IF YOU DONT PRAY
YOU ARE NOY MUSLIM. assalamu al

I wish that those who gave GWB the 58% approval, wake up and have some sense in their empty heads.
I would rather support any 42nd street walkers than the clown from TX.
Any street walker from near Hunts points in the Bronx has more descent views on the world, and have better respect for others than GWB, his father or his main supporters.
Those people who vote conservative are afraid of loosing their financial security. For that, they don't care if a monkey tops their wives or daughters.

Wonder when was this poll taken - before the bombing started or after?
*58% approves Bush's handling of affairs since 9/11?! (oh pleeeezzz ... give us a break)
*66% agree with Bush's assertion that the war is being fought against terrorism, not Islam?! (are they on drugs or what)
*51% Muslims support the military action against Afghanistan (who's Zogby REALLY calling?)
if these are the answers of Muslims ... Lord have mercy on them!