Mosques Make Muslim-Americans More American
March 8, 2011
Author: Karam Dana, Former Research Fellow, The Dubai Initiative
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Dubai Initiative
Or so it appears, according to findings from the Muslim and American Public Opinion Survey, conducted by political scientist Matt Bareto and Karam Dana. Here are excerpts:
...the MAPOS study finds as Muslims report being more involved in their mosque, they also report being more actively involved in American politics. On a range of political activities, those with no connection or involvement to the mosque report 1.7 average acts of political participation. In contrast, those who say they are very involved with the mosque report 2.6 political acts per year - a 53% increase in civic engagement.
...we find those with high levels of religiosity are overwhelmingly likely to believe that Islam is compatible with political participation in the United States. While 77% of those with the lowest levels of religiosity feel Islam is compatible with political involvement in America, 95% of those who are most religious feel Islam is compatible with American politics.
Despite the popularized idea that Muslims are radicalized around the country in mosques, we find that mosques help Muslims integrate into US society, and in fact have a very productive role in bridging the differences between Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States. This is a finding in social science that is consistent with decades of research on other religious groups such as Jews, Protestants and Catholics where church attendance and religiosity has been proven to result in higher civic engagement and support for core values of the American political system. Likewise, mosques are institutions that should be encouraged to function as centers of social and political integration in America.
For more information about this publication please contact the The Dubai Initiative at 617-496-3694.
For Academic Citation: