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Hamilton College National Opinion Poll

Muslim America

Released: May 30, 2002

Executive Summary

American Muslims do not trust the Bush administration to deal equitably between Israelis and Palestinians in the current conflict, according to a new national poll conducted by researchers at Hamilton College.  The Hamilton Muslim America Poll examines Muslim attitudes toward the U.S. war on terrorism and related international issues. It also documents anti-Muslim discrimination and harassment in the United States since September 11 and the support that U.S. Muslims have received from other Americans.  The survey of over 500 Muslims, most of them U.S. citizens, was designed and analyzed by Hamilton Sociology Professor Dennis Gilbert and his students. The Muslim America Poll was funded by Hamilton's Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center and administered by the polling firm Zogby International. It had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5 percent.

The poll's main findings include the following:

  • Only one third of U.S. Muslims are convinced that Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda network was responsible for the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington.  Nonetheless, a majority say U.S. military action in Afghanistan is justified.
  • Eighty-five percent say that the U.S. has always supported the Israelis against the Palestinians. Sixty percent don't believe the Bush administration is seeking a "fair peace" between the two sides.
  • Almost half of U.S. Muslims agree that the United States should try to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.
  • Over half report they personally know individuals who have been victims of anti-Muslim discrimination, harassment, or physical attack since 9-11. One in four say that they have themselves been victims of anti-Muslim discrimination, harassment or attack in recent months.
  • Almost half say that non-Muslim community leaders in their areas have spoken out against anti-Muslim abuses since 9-11. Seventy percent say that non-Muslims have personally expressed support during this period.
  • Sixty percent regard the widespread questioning and numerous arrests of Muslims in the United States by federal agents as an unwarranted abuse of civil liberties.

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