WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being
issued by the Council on American-Islamic Relations:
POLL SHOWS MUSLIM VOTERS UNDECIDED ABOUT WHITE HOUSE PICK
By Ibrahim Hooper
Ibrahim Hooper is strategic communications director for the
Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's
largest Muslim civil liberties group. He may be contacted at
firstname.lastname@example.org and a photo is available at:
Many religious or ethnic minority groups are considered to be in one
political camp or the other. But a recent survey of American Muslim voters
shows they are largely undecided about their choice for president in the
SEE: American Muslim Voters and the 2008 Election
The results of that national survey, commissioned by the
Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), also show a
family-oriented, highly-educated and diverse group of voters who condemn
terrorism and believe anti-Americanism in the Muslim world is a serious
When contacted late last year by an independent polling firm, a random
sample of 1,000 Muslim voters said they are:
-- Young: More than three-fourths (78 percent) of respondents said they
are between the ages of 30 and 54.
-- Highly Educated: A majority (65 percent) said they have a bachelor's
degree or higher.
-- Middle Class: Almost half of respondents (43 percent) said they have
a household income of $50,000 or higher.
-- Family Oriented: More than three-fourths of respondents (77 percent)
said they are married.
-- Religiously Diverse: More than half (52 percent) of respondents said
they attend a mosque at least once a month, but than one-fifth (21 percent)
said they seldom or never attend a mosque. While 46 percent of the
respondents said they consider themselves "Sunni," 38 percent said they
view themselves as "just Muslims." Ten percent said they are "Shia," while
two percent said they are "Sufi," a more mystical interpretation of the
-- Involved in Civic Life: The vast majority of Muslim respondents (87
percent) said they regularly go to the polls on Election Day and almost
half (45 percent) said they volunteer for an institution serving the
* Democratic or Independent: Forty-nine percent of respondents said
they consider themselves Democrats and 36 percent said they are politically
independent. Only 8 percent of respondents said they are Republicans. When
asked about their preferred presidential candidate, almost half of
respondents (45 percent) said they "don't know or haven't decided."
When asked their views on a number of domestic and international
issues, the vast majority of Muslim respondents (86 percent) said attacks
on civilians are "never justified." Those who said they were "often
justified" (2 percent) were less that the statistical margin of error (3
percent) for the survey.
On international issues, American Muslim voters also said:
-- American Muslim leaders should support peace and reconciliation
between the warring factions in Iraq. (80 percent)
-- Anti-Americanism in the Muslim world is a serious problem and
anti-Muslim prejudice is a threat to American Muslims. (76 percent)
-- Brokering a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
would improve America's reputation in the Muslim world. (75 percent)
-- Simulated drowning (water-boarding) is an unacceptable interrogation
method for terror suspects. (74 percent)
When asked which issues will have the most influence on their voting
decision, education was the top pick (89 percent) followed by civil rights
(86 percent), health care policy (85 percent) and the economy (85 percent).
These results defy stereotypes of American Muslims as a monolithic
group. One interesting finding of the survey shows that the most devout
Muslim voters are also those who are more likely to believe that Islam and
modernity are compatible.
Almost 80 percent of the Muslim voters polled said they would vote in
this year's presidential primaries. With the prospect of close elections
nationwide, no candidate can afford to ignore this potential bloc of swing
The results of CAIR's survey should give a heads-up to candidates of
any political party that there is a group of voters willing to listen to
all those who address their concerns.
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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations