You know all that stuff you hear about America being a melting pot where people of all ethnicities and faiths can come together over their shared love of freedom and eating hot dogs on the Fourth of July? Well, apparently someone wasn't sure that applied to Muslim Americans too, so they decided to conduct a survey. Even more incredible: The New York Times thought it was necessary to share the "news" that most Muslim Americans aren't sympathetic to terrorists.
Today under the headline "Muslims Are Loyal to U.S. and Hopeful, Poll Shows," the paper shared the results of a study conducted by a Gallup-affliated research group based in the United Arab Emirates in 2010. For the poll 2,482 adults were surveyed, and 475 said they were Muslim. The Times reports:
Nine out of 10 Muslim Americans said that their co-religionists in the United States were not sympathetic to Al Qaeda, the group held responsible for the 2001 attacks. Majorities in other religious groups agreed that Muslim Americans did not sympathize with Al Qaeda, but the percentages were much lower.
It's almost unbelievable to see The Times implicitly question the loyalty of Muslim Americans, when it would never ask if Christian Americans are sympathetic to terrorists like Timothy McVeigh or Norway shooter Anders Behring Breivik. (Oh, sorry. As the Daily Show recently pointed out, Fox News has established that no one who kills innocent people is a real Christian.)
In the paper's defense, the intent of the article is to contradict the the "stereotype of Muslim Americans as an alienated and discontented religious minority." The poll shows that more than 10% of Americans from other faiths think Muslims sympathize with Al Qaeda. That probably explains why nearly half of the Muslim Americans surveyed said they had experienced racial or religious discrimination in the past year. You might expect Times commenters to be a cut above the teenagers who post racial slurs on YouTube, but many argue that the poll only shows Muslim Americans aren't willing to admit over the phone that they support terrorism.
It's tremendously disturbing that so many people still blame an entire religion for the actions of a few extremists, and it seems some people still need to hear repeatedly that this isn't the case. However, reporting "Muslims are loyal to U.S." as if it's breaking news may only reinforce the idea that Muslim citizens aren't quite as American as the rest of us.
Image via Morgan Rauscher/Shutterstock.