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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2007, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Muslims 'well integrated' in US
Graffiti defaces mosque at the Islamic Center of America January 23, 2007, in Dearborn.
US Muslims tend to feel positive about US but not always welcome
Muslim Americans are largely integrated in US society and moderate in their views, a nationwide survey suggests.

The study by the Pew Research Center says US Muslims - most of whom are immigrants - believe in the American work ethic and reject extremism.

Their income and education levels mirror those of the general US public, according to the survey.

However, most respondents say life has become more difficult for US Muslims since the 11 September attacks.

The survey - entitled Muslim Americans, Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream - estimates the number of adult Muslims in the US at 1.5 million, and says 65% are immigrants.

Among native-born Muslims, about half are African American - many of whom are converts.

Overall, the study says, Muslim Americans have a positive view of US society at large.

Most say their communities are excellent or good places to live.

As many Muslim Americans as members of the general public express satisfaction with the state of the nation, the authors say.

Moreover, 71% of Muslim Americans agreed that people could get ahead in the US by working hard - the figure for the general public was 64%.

"The life situations and attitudes of Muslim Americans stand in contrast with those of Muslim minorities of Western Europe."

Pew Global Attitudes surveys last year in the UK, France, Germany and Spain found that most Muslims there suffered unemployment and felt marginalised.

The latest poll suggests that US Muslims reject Islamic radicalism by larger margins than do Muslims in other parts of the world.

War in Iraq right decision? US Muslims 12%, general public 45%
War in Afghanistan right decision? US Muslims 35%, general public 61%
War on terror sincere effort? US Muslims 26%, general public 67%

However, the study adds, there is somewhat more acceptance of Islamic extremism in some segments of the US Muslim public than others.

Fewer native-born African American Muslims than others completely condemn al-Qaeda, according to the report.

In addition, younger Muslims in the US are more likely than older Muslim Americans to say that suicide bombing in the defence of Islam can sometimes be justified.

On foreign policy, US Muslims are more critical of the US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan than the general public, the survey indicates.

'Singled out'

Consistent with the views of Muslims in other countries, fewer that half of Muslim Americans - regardless of their age - accept the idea that Arab men carried out the 11 September attacks, the study says.

It adds that the attacks "continue to cast a long shadow over Muslim Americans", with 53% saying life has become more difficult since then.

Many say they worry about government surveillance, stereotyping and harassment.

The main concerns voiced by respondents were job discrimination and prejudice.

Many say Muslims are perceived as potential terrorists.

According to the report, 54% believe the US government has singled out Muslims for increased surveillance and monitoring

However, expressions of support are just as common as incidents of bigotry, the survey suggests.

Overall, a third of American Muslims say someone offered to help them because of their religion.

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