Though American Muslims are subject to intense scrutiny, surveillance, and discrimination, a recent Pew survey revealed that the religious group is far more tolerant than white evangelicals.
The Pew poll found that since 2007, American Muslims’ acceptance of homosexuality has grown from 27 percent to 52 percent – an increase of 25 percent. Meanwhile, Evangelical Christians largely maintained their disapproval of the minority group, with just 34 percent saying that homosexuality should be accepted by society.
Those of us who know Evangelicals and Muslims would not be surprised by the statistic, but it flies in the face of a repeated talking-point by anti-Muslim conservatives. In recent years, conservatives have attempted to sway liberal voters into supporting anti-Muslim legislation like the travel ban by highlighting what some more regressive Muslims in extremists countries believe about homosexuality. If they had their way, the likes of Ted Cruz would see gay marriage abolished, yet they will repeatedly discuss anti-gay sentiment in some Muslim-majority nations.
Still, despite what extremists may believe and do, the reality is that Muslims in America are more tolerant than the whitest Evangelicals among us.
The poll revealed that Muslim women have the highest rate of homosexuality acceptance within the demographic, as well as college-educated Muslims and millennial Muslims. Despite these promising numbers, the Muslim population accepts homosexuality at a lower rate than the numbers nation-wide. Even millennial Muslims support homosexuality at a lower rate than the entire generation.
Much like America’s dogged determination to focus on foreign terrorism while white, domestic terrorists carry out atrocities all over the nation, our general belief that Muslims are the extremists while we have extreme Evangelicals all over our nation serves to further a narrative, not the truth.