This brand new Gallup poll isn’t just an interesting read, it also backs up several of the points House Homeland Security Chair Peter King has been trying to make during his radicalization hearings. Out of all religious groups Gallup surveyed, Muslim Americans are the least likely to have confidence in the FBI and military institutions. They also don’t feel represented by most of the Muslim American organizations currently operating in the U.S., including the controversial Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
King has stressed the tension between Muslim Americans and law enforcement could obstruct or hinder FBI investigations. While the numbers don’t sound dangerously low, just 60 percent of Muslim Americans say they have confidence in the FBI, compared to 75 percent or more of Americans of other religious backgrounds.
Meanwhile, just 12 percent of Muslim American men and 11 percent of Muslim American women say they feel like CAIR represents their interests. Single digits say their interests are represented by other groups, including the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Islamic Circle of North America. A majority of males and a plurality of females say no Muslim American groups represent their interests. This is both a good sign and a bad sign — King has been highly critical of groups like CAIR, arguing they try to create a divide between the Muslim community and law enforcement officials. But it’s also important Muslim Americans feel there are Islamic organizations working in their best interests.
The findings are vital, because, according to the survey, religious groups are more likely to “thrive” when they have high confidence in national security institutions. The same holds true for Muslim Americans:
A regression analysis sheds light on the traits most closely associated with thriving in every major American religious group. Among U.S. Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and Mormons, a college education, a high level of religious observance (attending services at least once a week), and confidence in national security organizations such as the FBI are all predictive of thriving. These same traits plus a few others — including strongly identifying with the U.S. — are also predictive of Muslim Americans’ likelihood to thrive.
It sounds like King’s hearings are on the right track–not just in the interest of national security– but also in the interest of helping the Muslim American community thrive both financially and socially.