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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 April, 2004, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Muslims in US are 'much maligned'
By Jane Little
BBC's religious affairs correspondent

George Bush met with Muslim groups when he was Governor
Many US Muslims feel let down by Bush
Muslims in the US have been under an uncomfortable spotlight since the events of 11 September 2001.

A study of Muslims in the Detroit area says the community has been "much maligned and little understood".

The survey of 33 mosques, conducted by Michigan's Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, reveals the majority of Muslims hold moderate views.

Most register to vote and 85% disapprove of President George W Bush's performance in office.

This is a big turn around since Mr Bush came to power and reflects a wider disillusionment among American Muslims with the president's "War on Terror".

The report is likely to be of some interest to the White House.

The Muslim community numbers up to eight million and has been becoming more politically organised as Muslims seek greater influence within American politics.

Ethnically divided

The study, conducted by Professor of Islamic Studies, Ihsan Bagby, says mosque participation among the 200,000 Muslims in Detroit is growing.

Almost two-thirds are first generation immigrants.

Interestingly, of those converting fewer are African American, possibly indicating the report says, the declining fortunes of African American mosques.

And the mosques remain ethically divided: Arabs, South Asians and African Americans tend to stick to their own - with few mosques being ethnically mixed.

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