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Editorial: Recent Reports on Islam and Muslims

By Dr. Aslam Abdullah, Muslim Media News Service (MMNS)

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Washington’s Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars recently released a study on Muslim Americans with several questionable conclusions and dubious assertions.

The conclusions that it has drawn contradict some earlier surveys’ findings and create a climate of unrealistic uncertainty among Muslims. Based on the interview The Muslim Observer conducted among 50 Muslims in Nevada and California, it can safely be said that 85% of Muslims think that the findings are not based on realities, and exaggerate facts. Some 60% said that the survey lacks credibility as it fails to identify the sources that are determined to isolate Muslims. Interes tingly the survey advises Muslim Americans to meld into US society before they are isolated and turn to radicalism.

The report concludes that the Muslim Americans lack strong institutions and public and political voices to gain access to the media and government. The report also says that Muslims are outside the national mainstream. It also says that some existing Muslim American institutions have avoided foreign policy issues for fear of drawing unfavorable scrutiny.

The report contradicts last month’s PEW Survey based on a sample of 1,050 Muslims and released in May, saying that Muslims were largely assimilated, happy with their lives and more moderate than Muslims in other countries.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center ignores the following fundamental facts.
1. Some 33% of Muslims are of African American descend. They are fully integrated in the society. Some of them are members of various legislative bodies. Many are active in community and social life and they do matter in the politics of the African American community.

2. In several states, Muslims are actively involved in state and local politics; many playing an active role in affairs of the state.

3. The report says Muslims are afraid to raise foreign policy issues. The fact is that Muslim organizations and institutions run by immigrant Muslims have raised only foreign policy issues during the last 15 to 20 years.

4. The report says that Muslims must meld into the US society before they are isolated. The fact is that some 70% of Muslims are already assimilated into US society.

They are the ones who do not come to the mosque, who have changed their names, and who have forsaken their Islamic identity. One can easily find pockets of such Muslim communities all over the country.

The report failed to identify the impact of the Christian right and the Zionist extremist in orchestrating anti-Islam campaigns in the country. These two groups, with some clandestine efforts on behalf of some well known intelligence agencies, have invested huge resources in orchestrating an intense anti-Muslim campaign to make them isolated and alienated. The report fails to give any details of these groups.

It also fails to give a correct assessment of Muslim institutions and organizations.
It seems that the Center had the good intention to produce a quality document, but those who ran the project ran it down as their methodology was faulty and their conclusions were even more unrealistic.


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