Quick: What’s the Most Diverse Religious Group in America?

(The article below, written by John Ridley, is on today’s The Huffington Post. You can see the original here.)

If you said Kabbalah, you spend too much time reading People magazine. If you said Muslim, you’ve probably read the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies “first comprehensive study of the Muslim American community and its habits, perspectives and beliefs.”

Comprehensive is pretty much the word. Not distinguishing between native and foreign-born Muslims, the center conducted more than 300,000 national household interviews over the past year to try to coalesce the most accurate picture yet of what it means to be Muslim in America. Among the findings, as alluded to, Muslims are the most diverse religion in America in terms of ethnicity. According to the study:

Muslim Americans represent the only faith community without a majority race. They are black, white, Asian and Hispanic. African-Americans, not Arabs, make up the largest ethnic group (35 percent).

Synchronicity in play: At its annual Saviors’ Day event outside Chicago this past weekend, the theme for the Nation of Islam — previously a black nationalism Muslim movement — was preaching the gospel of diversity, inclusion and outreach to more immigrants, Asians and Native Americans.

In addition to being diverse, Muslims also tend to be younger, and enjoy a higher employment rate than the general population:

More than a third (36 percent) of Muslim Americans are between the ages of 18 and 29, significantly more than the general public (18 percent). They are more likely than any other group to report being at work or school, with 70 percent reporting having a job, compared with the general public at 64 percent.

The fact that the majority of American Muslims are educated and employed is significant. Going on eight years after 9/11, there’s still fear in some quarters that American Muslim sleeper cells exist. While the possibility can’t be wholly discounted, the education and income levels of American Muslims tend to reduce that possibility.

In his online series on “why American Muslims don’t blow things up,” Slate’s Timothy Noah delves into the Melting-Pot Theory, which pretty much asserts that smarts and good pay (along with the fact Muslims only make up about 1 percent of the population) tend to cool anti-American fervor.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://n/a Eddie Buchanan

    Muslims in the US are relatively peaceful because they are so few in number. Mohammed’s teachings are to get along with non-Muslims and attempt to spread Islam through peaceful means until you are large enough to use force. The Muslims here now, being very patient, are content to raise funds, build Mosques, and spread propaganda. They know that too much use of violence would cause a backlash. But regardless of what anybody says, when they believe they have the power, it will be convert or die. If you doubt me you can look at Islam’s entire 1200 year history or read Islam and Terrorism: What the Quran Really Teaches About Christianity, Violence and the Goals of the Islamic Jihad by Mark A. Gabriel or The Truth about Muhammad by Robert Spencer.

  • http://n/a Eddie Buchanan

    For a wake up call watch this (even if you don't like the host):

    http://shock.military.com/Shock/videos.do?display


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