By Frannie Carr
Aug. 3, 2011
BOSTON — Local Muslims are responding to a the findings of a new Gallup poll comparing the attitudes of Muslim Americans to Americans of other faiths.
The report found that ten years after the 9/11 terror attacks, the vast majority of Muslim Americans are loyal to the United States and are more optimistic than other major faith group about their future.
Ali Asani, a professor of Islamic Religion and Culture at Harvard University, said while the results are heartening, there is still a larger construct of Muslim Americans as “the other” that needs to be broken down.
"People are afraid of what they don't know. When somebody sees a woman in a hijab, and they assume she's fundamentalist, but if they had a conversation with her, they get a very different impression," Asani said.
"We need to be thinking about what it means to be American in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-racial society. We can all be different, but we can also be united in our differences, in our loyalty to the country”
The poll included interviews from about 2,500 people, a fifth of whom identified themselves as Muslim.