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Hamilton College Muslim America Poll

Accounts of Anti-Muslim Discrimination not Exaggerated

By Sharon Rippey 315-859-4672  |  Contact Holly Foster 315-859-4068
Posted May 30, 2002
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Washington, DC  May 30, 2002 -- Nearly 75 percent of Muslim Americans either know someone who has or have themselves experienced an act of anti-Muslim discrimination, harassment, verbal abuse or physical attack since September 11, according to a national survey released May 30 at the National Press Club.  The Muslim America Poll by Hamilton College and Zogby International, shows that almost two out of three Muslims believe that the FBI questioning and arrests of Muslims in the U.S. after Sept. 11 are unwarranted abuses of civil liberties.  The poll of 521 Muslims living in America was developed by Hamilton College and administered by Zogby International.

Poll respondents report being told  "you are demons," "Pig religion," "you guys did it" and actions of  "he spit in my face, " "he pulled off my daughter's hijab" -- the list of taunts and abuses goes on.  "It is clear from this poll that reports in recent months of anti-Muslim discrimination, harassment or attacks have not been exaggerated," said Hamilton Professor of Sociology Dennis Gilbert whose class designed the poll. 

Eighty-five percent of Muslims surveyed say that the U.S. has always supported the Israelis in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and 60 percent don't believe the Bush administration is seeking a "fair peace" between the two sides.  Gilbert said, "American Muslims do not trust the Bush administration to deal equitably between Israelis and Palestinians in the current conflict."  

Almost half of U.S. Muslims agree that the United States should try to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.  Hamilton senior Paul Jones, one of the student researchers who developed the survey, said, "When speaking to Muslims on the phone, it was amazing to see how passionate and educated they were on the affairs in the Middle East."

Among other findings in the report is that nearly half of the Muslim Americans believe that the military actions in Afghanistan after 9/11 were justified.

The Muslim American Poll was designed and analyzed by Gilbert and a group of Hamilton students.  Zogby International, an independent public opinion research firm, administered the sampling and calling to a national sample of 517 Muslims Americans in calls made between April 14 and the 28.  The expected margin of sampling error is plus or minus 5 percent.  Funding for the study was provided by the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center at Hamilton College.

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