American Muslim Poll 2017

American Muslim Poll 2017

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Dalia Mogahed, director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), discusses the report and main findings from ISPU’s American Muslim Poll 2017, as part of CFR’s Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series.

Learn more about CFR’s Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative.


Dalia Mogahed

Director of Research, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding


Irina A. Faskianos

Vice President for National Program and Outreach, Council on Foreign Relations

FASKIANOS: Good afternoon from New York and welcome to the Council on Foreign Relations Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call Series. I’m Irina Faskianos, vice president for the National Program and Outreach here at CFR. As a reminder, today’s call is on the record and the audio and transcript will be available on our website,, and on our iTunes podcast channel, Religion and Foreign Policy.


Dalia Mogahed is the director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, and the chief executive officer of Mogahed Consulting. She was formerly the executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, and is recognized as a prominent scholar, researcher, and public intellectual on issues related to Islam, politics, society, and gender. Ms. Mogahed served on President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and has testified before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on topics related to U.S. outreach in Muslim communities, both domestically and abroad. She is also the co-author, with John Esposito, of the 2008 book, Who Speaks for Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think.

Dalia, thanks very much for being with us today. You just released the ISPU’s American Muslim poll. So it would be great if you could begin by giving us an overview of that poll, the findings and recommendations.

MOGAHED: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me and for everyone that’s joined this afternoon.

Just to jump right in, we conducted a nationwide poll in early 2017 that surveyed Muslims, Jews, Protestants, Catholics, nonaffiliated Americans, and basically just the general public in the United States. And we took a nationwide representative sample of each of these faith communities and asked them identical questions. So we—this was not just a poll of Muslim Americans, but actually of a wide spectrum of American faith communities. I can talk more about the methodology in the Q&A if you’d like, but I’m just going to jump into the key findings. 

First, we found that American Muslims, which were our focus group, as an organization that focuses on and studies the American Muslim community. But we also wanted to place the Muslim community within the context of our country’s rich religious pluralism. So the key findings were that Muslim Americans were the most ethnically diverse, as well as the youngest, faith community surveyed. The face similar social challenges as other American faith communities. And I can talk a little bit more about that. Now, they are less politically engaged, but they are equally invested in the country’s welfare. They have disproportionately felt the negative impact of the current political climate, and are responding to heightened levels of prejudice, with resilience and solidarity with other marginalized communities.

So to expand on each of those: demographics. Most ethnically diverse and youngest faith community surveyed. So the American Muslim community is by far the youngest faith community in the United States. A quarter of the American Muslim community is—and this is the adult population—is between the age of 18 and 24. Eighty percent are below the age of 50. And that is in sharp contrast to every other faith community surveyed. 

Also, the most ethnically diverse. There is—it’s the only faith community with no majority race. So the four predominant ethnic groups within the American Muslim community, and they’re about an equal proportion to each, is African-American, white—for people who—you know, who identify as white—Asian, and Arab. And each make up between 18 and 25 percent. Seven percent identify as mixed. And 5 percent identify as Latino. The Latino Muslim community is the fastest group within the Muslim-American community, the fastest-growing group in the Muslim-American community.

Now, before I go any further, I just want to comment on this 24 percent who identify as white. This is always a number that comes up and people question it, like, in disbelief. It’s a very robust number, meaning that every single poll that’s been done on American Muslims, whether it was Gallup, Pew, ISPU, or anyone else, has found a similar number. So this number is not an anomaly in any way. And you have to just keep in mind that Bosnians identify as white, Turkish-Americans identify as white, Iranians identify as white, many Arabs as well—even when you give them Arab as an option—will still identify as white. And, of course, we have white, Caucasian, European-Americans who will have converted to Islam. But those are not the entire 24 percent, of course. So that number is real, and may just strike some people as unlikely but, in fact, it is not.

Now, about half of Muslims were born outside the United States and half are born here in the United States. So Muslim-Americans are the most likely faith community to, you know, be immigrants. So the immigration story is still a part of the American Muslim narrative. But it’s not the entire narrative. There has actually never been an America without Muslims. So Islam’s history in the United States is well-established and very old. And it’s also the story of newer Americans.

And I’m going to go ahead and go to the next—the next major finding, which is that Muslims face similar social challenges as other American faith groups. So this was really important to have, you know, an identical survey in each faith community so we could just look at things in context and with other groups of comparisons. So with the rich diversity that American Muslims boast in terms of race and ethnicity, it also comes with challenges. Muslims are the most likely faith community to also report racial tensions. So with no majority race, you have lots and lots of different divisions. And so it’s not surprising that the most diverse community is also the one that is most likely to have folks report racial tension within their faith community.

But interestingly, if you just compare black Muslims and black Christians—so just two subgroups that are both minorities, you know, from each faith tradition—you actually see that they’re equally likely to say that they’ve experienced some form of racism from within their faith community. So it’s not so much that racism is more prevalent among Muslims, but rather that when you have other communities that are mostly homogeneous or mostly one majority race, it’s less likely to happen. But within the minority communities within each community, it’s actually a similar prevalence.

The other, you know, major social ill or issue that we looked at is domestic violence. This is an issue that has come up again and again in the past six months, actually, when it comes to Muslims and Muslim immigrants. The assumption in some of the public discourse is that Muslims are more prone to this problem than others. And in fact, the data does not support that. Domestic violence plagues most faith communities equally. Where 13 percent of Muslims say that they know someone in their faith community who’s suffered domestic violence, this compares to 15 percent of Catholics, 17 percent of Protestants, 14 percent of nonaffiliated Americans, and 15 percent of the general public. The one standout group is the Jewish community, where only 7 percent report this. 

So the point being that this is a human problem and it impacts faith communities across the spectrum roughly equally. Where Muslims standout in this regard is not in its prevalence, but in the likelihood that they will report it to a faith leader. So whereas Muslims are equally likely to say that the person reported it to law enforcement, they are much more likely to say that they—that the victim reported it to a member of their faith community. So 51 percent of Muslim victims are saying that—you know, or people who know Muslim victims—say that they reported the assault of the incident to a member of their—a community leader or a faith leader. This is contrast to only 23 percent of Catholics, for example.

The implications of that, or the—sort of the—one major recommendation there is because imams are receiving these complaints and having people trust them enough to report these things, they have to be trained. They have to be trained to address these issues with skill and with compassion. It also tells us that for the most part victims of domestic violence in the Muslim community do not regard this violence as religiously sanctioned, and therefore are looking to their faith leaders for support, not as a source of further—you know, further abuse.

So let me jump now to politics. We’ve gone through some social issues, now for public policy. Muslims are less politically engaged than members of other faith communities, but they are equally invested in their country’s welfare. So, let’s start with the election results, which I think may or may not surprise people. Muslims and Jews were the least likely to favor a Trump win. So probably won’t surprise many people. Fifteen percent of Muslims favored a Trump win. And I think that number is probably higher than many people expect. But 54 percent favored a Hillary win. 

Now, what is also interesting about those two numbers is that a lot of people didn’t favor either. And in fact, Muslims were the most likely faith community to have—for people that—whose members say they don’t want either one. And I think somewhat helps explain the lower registration to vote and actual turnout that we saw among Muslim-American citizens. Now, why? Why are people not voting? For a long time, the theory was because they thought it was against their religion. And what we’ve found is that only 3 percent who didn’t vote—3 percent of those who didn’t vote said that they thought voting was against their religion. That is not the predominant reason, by any stretch.

The two most frequent responses are that they didn’t like any of the choices or that, you know, indifference or just lack of enthusiasm. They were too busy or they were out of town or, you know, it wasn’t—it wasn’t they just didn’t have the zeal for it, but that—you know, the first one was I don’t like any of the people running. So it is—it’s much more a dissatisfaction with the choices and apathy—political apathy, rather than a theological issue. And like many other communities, young Muslims are the least likely to vote.

Now, I’ve—now, it’s ironic that Muslims were the least engaged in this political process because they were, by far, the most impacted negatively. And this political climate has a lot of manifestations and a lot of ways that it impacts religious minorities. But first, and I think the most alarming, is how it impacts children, how it impacts young people. Muslim families were the—by far—by far the most likely to report that their children had been bullied in the past year. Forty-two percent of families with children in the K-12 schools said that they had been bullied at least once in the past year. And the second most likely were Jewish families. And around 25 percent of them had also experienced bullying because of their religion.

Now, the frequency is already pretty alarming. But what I thought was even perhaps more concerning is that 25 percent of the time a teacher or school official was involved in the bullying—actually doing the bullying themselves. So that really points to the need for better training and better enforcement of policies against bullying. 

American Muslims are also the most likely faith community to experience or to report religious-based discrimination, followed by members of the Jewish community. And when you look at who among Muslims are most likely to experience religious discrimination, it’s young people, it’s poor people, and it’s women. And it’s not just individual discrimination. It’s also institutionalized discrimination. So Muslims were nearly three times as likely to say that they were stopped for secondary screening when they were entering the country in an airport. 

And so it’s not—it’s not hard to understand that Muslims and Jews were the two communities most likely to say that they experienced fear and anxiety because of the results of the 2016 elections. And specifically, they’re actually—they’re reporting fear for their personal safety or that of their families from white supremacist groups, like neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. And that’s a whopping 38 percent of Muslims who say that they actually fear for their personal safety, followed by 27 percent of Jews.

Now, how are people responding to this stated sense of anxiety or discrimination? Well, first with solidarity. Muslims are the most likely faith group to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Sixty-six percent of Muslims say that they support it. Twelve percent say they oppose it. Both 66 percent is the highest of any group and 12 is the lowest of any group in terms of opposition. Now, I mentioned that 25 percent of Muslims are also black. So of course, these two groups are not mutually exclusive. But that doesn’t fully explain the high level of support, because Arab Muslims, Asian Muslims, white Muslims also support the Black Lives Matter movement higher than the general public of Americans.

Muslims also rank bigotry and racism as among one of the highest most important priorities facing our country, or challenges facing our country. The first being jobs and the economy. And right after that, actually—they’re equal, 24 and 23 percent—is bigotry, racism, discrimination and civil liberties. Muslims also are responding to prejudice with resilience. Instead of hiding or, you know, building bunkers, I think people are finding a greater sense of empowerment. Eleven percent signed up for self-defense classes. In response to feeling insecure, they’re taking matters more into their own hands. They’ve donated—nearly one in five has donated, joined, or volunteered at a civic organization for the first time as a direct result of the results of the election. And nearly a quarter has increased, actually, their donation or their support for organizations associated with their faith community. 

And to close off, this especially applies to Muslim women. They are the most targeted and the most likely to respond with resilience. Muslim women are more likely than Muslim men to say that they suffered emotionally with stress and anxiety after the election. They’re more likely to express fear for their personal safety. We do know that hate crime statistics show that Muslim women are more likely than men to be targeted. So there is an explanation for that. Muslim women are more likely than men, as I mentioned before, to report experiencing religious-based discrimination. And they’re also more likely to sign up for self-defense classes. They’re also more likely to have increased their donation or support for an organization or faith community.

Interestingly, and surprisingly to me, Muslim women are no more likely to have modified their appearance to be less identified as a member of their faith community. So whereas they might be more targeted, and most explain this as a result of being more visible than men if they wear hijab, they are no more likely than men to try to hide that identity. And Muslim women are also more likely than Muslim men to express support for other marginalized communities in terms of, say, the Black Lives Matter movement.

FASKIANOS: Wonderful. Thank you very much for sharing those findings with us. Let’s open it up now to the group for questions and comments.

OPERATOR: Our first question will come from Richard Yellin with Hillel Student Organizations of Israel.

YELLIN: Hi. Thank you, Dalia, for the excellent presentation about the sociology of American Muslims. I’m really a cultural mix too, and when I sign a Census form in the United States I write down mongrel. The opposite of mongrel is purebred, or Nazi. And I’m also a dual Israeli-American Jew. I have three names. When I was born I was Richard, Christian. On the eighth day, I was Yitzhak, Jewish. And on the third—the third event of my life, when I immigrated to Israel, my teacher, who is the Arab ambassador to—the Arab-Israeli ambassador to Scandinavian states, he named me Abdul Hakim, which in Arabic means a student.

Now, if you generalize from the best Arab Muslims—and I know the best Arab Muslims in Israel—how would you deal with an outsider who tells you that Islam needs a reformation to deal with its triumphalism? I saw that. I just came back from the Arab—all the Arab states, the Emirates. Triumphalism, everybody needed a bigger mosque than everybody else, and they were at war with one another, to some degree. Its revisionism, its extremism, and lack of pluralism that you see outside in the world, or the Jew hatred which is common among large segments of Arab populations. And your obligation to assimilate into a country with its cultural values, rather than integration, to adopt the culture of the parent state. 

That’s a complicated question, I know. You can take whatever you want. (Laughs.) But you should know that my Arab friends in Israel are my students and I participate in all kinds of cultural events between Jews and Arabs. And I thank you and your report that you mention the Jewish community quite significantly in your observations. Thank you.

MOGAHED: Thank you for that question. There was a lot there. I’m going to focus on the topic of my report, which was the American Muslim community and the perceptions and realities of that community post—really, post-2016 election results. 

And what I’ll say is that what the evidence shows is that American Muslims are really no different than other faith communities in their country. The idea that they are exceptionally good or exceptionally bad is just simply not borne out in the data. No more likely to have, you know, social ills and no less likely to have these same social ills. And a lot of these issues are human problems rather than exceptionally Muslim issues. So I think that that was one of the key takeaways of this report.

The other issue or other point that I think is really important to make is that other research, though I didn’t touch on it in this report, does point to empirical correlation between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. So interestingly, one study that I headed at Gallup found that the strongest predictor of anti-Muslim prejudice was hating Jews, that people who reported extreme prejudice toward Jews were 32 more times as likely to also report extreme prejudice toward Muslim. So anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are actually connected. They are mutually reinforcing phenomena, rather than one. You know, the misconception is that anti-Semitism means you like Muslims. It’s quite the opposite. And for that reason I think that, especially when it comes to the American context—which is the only thing I focus on—these two communities really must forge a culture tie and cooperate against these two evils.

FASKIANOS: We’ll go to the next question.

And our next question will come from Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur with the African Leaders Malaria Alliance.

ABDUL-GHAFUR: Thank you. As-salaam-alaikum, Dalia. And thank you so much for putting together these findings. I’m looking forward to reading them in depth. And of course, thank you to the Council on Foreign Relations for providing this platform.

Dalia, I had a question about methodology. I know you said that this poll was taken in January 2017. I’m just wondering how many people, what was the—you know, were these phone calls, were these questionnaires? Or, just—if you could give a bit more detail on how you ensured that you had a good sample of the American Muslim community.

MOGAHED: Thank you so much. Wa-alaikum-salaam.

The sample size for the Muslim sample was roughly 800 respondents. They were—they were mostly phone-based interviews, although there were some online-based interviews. But they were all randomly selected, whether they were filling out the questionnaire online or by phone, this was not an opt-in or a convenience sample. This was basically the result of calling hundreds of thousands of American households. And when one identified as Muslim was set aside, and then called back for our poll. So we were finding people at random. And I think that’s really important in that—and that was the bulk of the sample, was these kinds of random calls to American households to do polls on anything. And when they identified as being Muslim, we were able to call them back for this poll.

Why that’s important? Because you don’t rely on, you know, immigration records. You don’t rely on surnames, which of course can skew the sample one way or the other, and you don’t get a lot of people who identify as Muslim but don’t have, you know, Muslim—“Muslim-sounding” last names. So the demographics of the poll closely reflects many other polls which have even higher sample sizes. So I feel pretty good about what we’ve done with the—you know, with the budget we have. Our demographics closely reflect what Gallup found, what Pew found. So it’s pretty—you know, it’s a reliable sample.

And the other thing I want to mention is that our chief methodologist is a man by the name of David Dutwin, Dr. David Dutwin. He is the country’s leading authority on polling American Jews. He is really someone we found because we thought that was the closest analogy to polling American Muslims in a robust, representative way, in that American Jews, similar to American Muslims, are a faith community that is only in the single digits, 1 to 2 percent. So they’re hard to find, you know, and hard to do a representative sample without pouring millions of dollars into the project.

The other thing is, of course, they’re not—they’re not documented in the census since they are a faith community. So Dr. Dutwin was able to apply some of his expertise from that field into our American Muslim poll. And we’ve done the poll with him as chief methodologist two years in a row now.

ABDUL-GHAFUR: Thank you. Very helpful.

FASKIANOS: Next question, please.

And next up we have Azeem Farooki with the Islamic Center or Rockland, New York.

FAROOKI: Thank you. As-salaam-alaikum, Dalia.

MOGAHED: Wa-alaikum-salaam.

FAROOKI: Very, very nice, informative report. How do we get a copy of this? Is this being published, or is there a way to get a copy of that, all the information you talked about?

MOGAHED: Yes, absolutely. And I should have mentioned it in the beginning. You can read the whole report, look at every graph I cited, on our website. It’s 

FAROOKI: OK. I’m also curious about one thing. When you say that this was a mostly telephone call, right?


FAROOKI: So I wonder how it was conducted in New York. I am in the Rockland County area and I am from the Islamic Center of Rockland. And there are three more masjids in this area. And I have—I’m completely unaware of anyone mentioning about this polling.

MOGAHED: Well, you know, here’s the thing. We had a sample of 800, right? And there are close to 4 million Muslims in America. So it’s very—it’s actually a very low percentage possibility or probability—very low probability that you will have yourself gotten a call. But I assure you that it was a representative sample. It’s interesting because, you know, Gallup, when they do a nightly poll, they’re only calling 1,000 American households to cover 350 million people, you know, to represent them. And they’re still able to project onto the whole population by making the sample representative. And you do that by randomly selecting and you don’t—you know, randomly selecting your respondents so that you’re not biasing the sample one way or the other.

FAROOKI: Mmm hmm. Thank you. Thank you for the information.

MOGAHED: Sure. Thank you.

FASKIANOS: Dalia, while we’re waiting for more questions to queue up, did you look at how you—American Muslims feel that U.S. foreign policy is affecting their safety and security?

MOGAHED: No, we have not—right, we didn’t look at how they—how they view American foreign policy and how it’s impacting their security. The only place where American foreign policy came up is just in how people describe the most important challenge facing the country. And interestingly, foreign policy didn’t come up very high. Other issues that were very domestic came up much, much more prevalent than foreign policy.

FASKIANOS: What were the issues that were coming up?

MOGAHED: Yeah. The most important issues that American Muslims mentioned were the economy and jobs, number one. Two was discrimination, racism, and civil liberties. Three was education. And those were really the top three.

FASKIANOS: Mmm hmm. And in past polls, have you—or, in the research that you have done, what would be the differences you would cite between American Muslim communities and Muslim communities abroad?

MOGAHED: Well, it’s a really good question. And it really just depends on what country, right? So the Muslims—the global Muslim community is a very, very diverse group of 1.7 billion people. So American Muslims are unique in many ways, in comparison to almost any other country. But within the global Muslim community, there’s so many differences across nations too. So it’s hard to pinpoint.

I’ll just mention one really unique thing about American Muslims, though. And that is in mosque attendance. So American Muslims are—it’s the only country in the world where men and women attend the mosque at equal frequency. And I found that very striking. So in most countries, women attend mosque less frequently than men. And that’s not the case in America. And so there is an interesting, very unique kind of culture around mosque attendance. And that’s important to know, of course, because this kind of parity in attendance must be reflected in the way mosques are built, the way the mosques are programmed to reflect this parity.

FASKIANOS: Thank you. Next question.

OPERATOR: All right. Our next question will come from Asim Rehman with the City of New York.

REHMAN: Hi, Dalia. Thank you very much for the presentation and for the work on the report. The surveys like this result in a tremendous amount of data that’s usually more accurate than the perceptions that are out there. The American Muslim community is going through a period where there’s a lot of misperception about this community. What steps are you and your colleagues taking to take these results and get them out there to help use facts to challenge those perceptions? What steps do you recommend that others take? Maybe that’s not your job. Maybe your job is limited to just doing the poll and letting others deal with getting those facts out there. But how do—how do you use this data and how can others use this data?

MOGAHED: Well, thank you so much, Asim. We definitely want to get this data out. So it is part of our mission to not only discover the truth or discover the facts, but also to disseminate it and to share it, to educate and enable people with good information. So some of the things we do is we engage the media, we engage policymakers, we do calls like these. But it’s always just a drop in the bucket. What we really need is other ambassadors of good information. So now that you all know, you can take it to your network and they can take it to their network. And I think it’s only going to be through the amplification of this information that we will—we will educate the public.

And I think it’s really important when you read our report, we talk about this issue of the importance of educating the public on such a hotly debated topic. If we’re not—if we’re not an educated citizenry, we are compromising our own freedom. And this report contributes, I think, a piece to strengthening our democracy by providing people with accurate information with which they can make their own decisions, make up their own mind. 

FASKIANOS: Thank you. Next question.

OPERATOR: Our next question will come from Azeem Farooki with the Islamic Center of Rockland New York.

REHMAN: Dalia, thank you. The follow up—I just remembered this, to follow up question. I am in touch with the people from Homeland Security Office in Manhattan. And actually, they have visited the mosque also, Islamic Center of Rockland. And I’m especially interested in this one—maybe there are more cases—but one case where a person who is from India, and his name has two words in it, Mohammed, another word is Hassan or Hussein. And whenever he goes out of the country and comes back—he’s a businessman—he is frequently detained at the airport for several hours. And actually, he has employed more than 40 people in Rockland County. He has started a business and pays thousands of dollars in taxes. So how—do you have any suggestions to help a case like that, where simply the name is causing several hours of delay at JFK?

MOGAHED: Well, unfortunately, his case is unfortunately not unique. We did find that 30 percent of Muslims are routinely detained, three times as many as any other group, for secondary screening and secondary questioning when they come back from an international trip. So the problem is systemic and needs to be addressed. We, as an organization, however, don’t do that kind of advocacy or legal activism. We do research and we enable people with information to act on it any way they wish. So I would have to be a different organization that you’d have to go to, to try to alleviate that problem.

REHMAN: What organization would that be?

MOGAHED: Well, I think there’s several. Muslim Advocates, CAIR, the Muslim Legal Fund of America are a few that I think handle those kind of cases.

REHMAN: CAIR did not help. OK, thank you.

FASKIANOS: All right.

OPERATOR: Our next question comes from Syed Sayeed with Columbia University.

SAYEED: Hello. Good afternoon. I wanted to bring up an issue that I think is not given as much attention, both within the Muslim community and in their relationship with other communities. And that is—you pointed out that employment and economic factors have been a major concern. But we also know that the economic and, you know, other factors have very clear links with political and, you know, activism activities. So I’m wondering, in your surveys, did you sort of try to find out how much importance the Muslim community within the United States gives to work with not just other faith communities, but with the community at large on issues of political concern? Thank you.

MOGAHED: OK. So I’m not sure that we addressed your point exactly, if I understand it correctly. We did look at how Muslims—whether Muslims are voting, whether they’re volunteering in a civic organization to solve a problem. And so in that regard, Muslims are just as likely as any other American to say that they have worked together with people within their neighborhoods to solve a problem. So they are involved in civic organizations, but less politically engaged in terms of voting and, you know, being registered, et cetera.

The other thing I would mention is, you know, there was a—there was a point made about the contributions of American Muslims. While this is a poll that looks at perceptions, we’ve done other studies that look at concrete recommendation—I’m sorry—concrete contributions. And there’s one that you can look online, it’s called Muslims for American Progress. And what this project does is it documents the impact of American Muslim contributions on the state of Michigan as a case study, and looks at everything from inventions, to economic contributions, to medical contributions, civic contributions. And I think a really important report, because it’s really never been done to take these issues and to do a really rigorous, empirical study of, you know, things like number of patents, number of jobs created by the Muslim community, et cetera. I’d encourage you to take a look at that report.

SAYEED: If I may follow up?

FASKIANOS: Yes, uh-huh.

SAYEED: OK. What I’m saying that you made a very, you know, good point, that Muslims have been making, you know, appreciated contributions in the field of economic growth and development. I mean, what I’m trying to sort of get to the point that are they also sort of, you know, in their back of mind willing to consider that they need to become politically very active? I mean, I’ll give the example of the Jewish community. I mean, there have been very active, you know, individuals from a Jewish community who are very active in the field of politics because to deal with anti-Semitism and other kinds of things, you need to be up front doing that you are making great contributions both to the sort of political and cultural life of the United States. You should not be subject to this anti-Semitism or things like that. Similarly, Muslims need to sort of stand up and make considerable—make initiatives and make contributions in the social-political sphere as well, besides just being members of community who are contributing to the economic development. Thank you.

MOGAHED: Mmm hmm. Yes, thank you.

FASKIANOS: Thank you. We have time for one last question.

OPERATOR: Thank you. Our last question will come from John Pawlikowski with the Catholic Theological Union.

PAWLIKOWSKI: Good afternoon. I was interested in this statistic about the number of Muslims who voted for Mr. Trump. I know why some Jews voted for Mr. Trump in the ultra-Orthodox community. Certainly abortion, school—parochial school subsidies and so on are an important issue, and certainly not one that the Obama Administration embraced. As well as the—some other Jews, who may not be ultra-Orthodox, had a great concern about Mr. Obama’s and the Democratic Party’s position on Israel, and saw Mr. Trump as perhaps much more favorable, from their perspective. But what would be some of the reasons that motivated this Muslim group that voted for Mr. Trump?

MOGAHED: Well, that’s a really good question. And actually, we’re still trying to research that piece, is the way. The nearly 15 percent, why are they—why did they vote for—or why did they favor a Trump win? Some of the speculations, though, are similar to some of the things you mentioned about the ultra-orthodox community. Muslims do have—many Muslims have—not all—but many Muslims do have social conservative views on things like abortion. But I think a stronger issue in this regard is political issues for—I’m sorry—economic interests. So we do have a percentage of Muslims that are—you know, are business people, and maybe saw Mr. Trump as more friendly to the business community.

The second thing is their concern with Obama’s foreign policy, and what they saw was an overly passive foreign policy in response to things like the Syria crisis. And some of them thought that Mr. Trump would be more assertive in dealing with it. Those are some of the postulations that we’ve heard in regards to why some of them did vote for Trump.


MOGAHED: Thank you.

FASKIANOS: Thank you. Dalia, this has been terrific. We really appreciate your taking this time to be with us and to talk about the poll, and to all of you for your questions. You can follow Dalia Mogahed on Twitter at @DMogahed, DMogahed. We also encourage you to follow CFR’s Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative on Twitter at @CFR_Religion for announcements about upcoming events and information about the latest CFR resources. And so we hope you’re enjoying the summer and look forward to your continued participation in future CFR discussions.


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