The Pew Research Center released an 8-page report on Muslim American opinion polling yesterday, and it’s a must-read. With the recent controversy over Rep. Peter King’s radicalization hearings, it was interesting to see Muslim Americans have the same misgivings about Muslim community leaders that the congressman does. Nearly half – 48 percent – say Muslim leaders haven’t done enough to speak out against Islamic extremists, while 34 percent disagree. And the percentage of those who believe leaders need to speak out more on extremism is even higher among women and American-born Muslims:
Men are evenly divided in their views of whether Muslim leaders have done enough to speak out against Islamic extremism – 44 percent say they have, while 46 percent say they have not. By comparison, just 23 percent of women say Muslim leaders have done enough to speak out against extremism, while 51 percent say they have not done enough; 26 percent of women offer no opinion.
A majority of Muslims born in the U.S. (59 percent) say Muslim leaders have not done enough to speak out against Islamic extremism; 33 percent say they have done enough. Opinion is more divided among foreign-born Muslims: 43 percen say Muslim leaders have not done enough, 34 percent say they have, while 23 percent express no opinion.
A Gallup poll from earlier this month found few Muslim Americans feel national Muslim organizations represent their interests. And the most prominent Muslim American group, Council on American Muslim Relations, has become so politically toxic in recent years that its influence has really been waning. It seems like there’s a major opening here for a new Muslim American group that’s more invested in (and more vocal about) combating extremism and radicalization, while still fighting to protect Muslim civil rights and political interests.