A New Poll Shows American Muslims Are Less Homophobic Than White Evangelical Christians

So much for the “the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.”

Pekic/Getty

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When Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president, it was just weeks after the Pulse nightclub shooting, in which 49 people were killed in a terrorist attack during the Orlando gay club’s Latin night. He decried “Islamic terrorism” and told the convention crowd, “I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.”

Unsurprisingly, after the shooting, many people presented viewpoints in direct contradiction with Trump’s speech. Now there’s new data to back them up. A recent Pew study looking at life for Muslim Americans in the early days of the Trump presidency finds that the group is nearly 20 percent more likely than the general population to say targeting and killing civilians in order to further a cause is never justifiable. 

Compared with general public, Muslims more likely to say targeting, killing civilians is never justifiable

But what’s perhaps more noteworthy, particularly for Trump’s opponents, is Pew’s finding about Muslim Americans’ attitudes toward the LGBT community. Statistically, they’ve become much more accepting of LGBT people: 52 percent of Muslim Americans now agree that homosexuality should be accepted by society—up from just 27 percent in 2007. And while they are not the most accepting group polled, their views have shifted toward being gay-friendly by a greater margin than any other group in the survey. White evangelical Christians remain the least accepting; the group’s views were comparable to those of Muslim Americans in 2007, with 23 percent of white evangelical Christians saying homosexuality should be accepted by society. Today only 34 percent say the same. It’s also worth highlighting that about 80 percent of white evangelicals who voted backed Trump, according to exit polls. 

Like Americans overall, Muslims now more accepting of homosexuality

The Pew study also found that American Muslims are feeling more anxious about their place in the U.S. Half of respondents say it’s gotten harder to be a Muslim in the United States in recent years and about the same number report experiencing religious discrimination in the past year. Among U.S. Muslims, widespread concern about place in American society

Half of U.S. Muslims experienced at least one instance of religious discrimination in the past year

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