Muslim Americans more accepting of LGBTQ: survey
Despite an earlier move of President Donald Trump to pin the blame of the Orlando tragedy on Muslim Americans, it seems like Muslims in the US are more accepting of the LGBTQ community.
This was the result of a new survey that looked at the acceptance of different faiths of the LGBTQ community.
According to the survey, Muslim Americans were more accepting of homosexuality as compared to white evangelical Protestants, and Muslims’ rate of acceptance was also faster than those of Protestants.
Muslim Americans: Changing attitudes
The survey was conducted by the Pew Research Centre and examined Muslim American attitudes on various issues.
The survey reported that 52 percent of US Muslims are open to the idea that homosexuality should be accepted by society.
However, a 2016 survey noted that only 34 percent of white Evangelical Protestants felt the same.
52 percent of Protestants overall were reported to have found homosexuality acceptable, in comparison to 66 percent of Catholics and 63 percent of the general public in the US.
The Pew Research report noted that: “Most Muslims continue to hold the view that immigrants strengthen the US because of their hard work and talents. And two-thirds say they would prefer to have a larger government that provides more services over a smaller government that provides fewer services.”
“There has, however, been one notable change in the social and political views of US Muslims: they have become much more accepting of homosexuality over the past decade, matching a similar shift that has occurred among the public overall,” it added.
The report further noted that “the share of Muslim Americans who say homosexuality should be accepted by society has nearly doubled since 2007.”
Muslim Americans: Shared experiences
An LGBTQ Muslim activist, Urooj Arshad, told the Huffington Post that Muslim support for the LGBTQ community is probably due to the shared experience of being discriminated against.
“Since September 11, the Muslim community has been dealing with severe erosion of their civil rights which has made the community more sympathetic to violations of civil rights against other marginalised communities in the US,” Arshad told Huffington Post.
However, she admitted that while Muslims are open to supporting LGBTQ Americans in general, some are hesitant to offer the same support for queer Muslims.
“What we see is more of a willingness to support the mainstream non Muslim LGBT community but when it comes to LGBT Muslims, people get uncomfortable,” she said.
Muslim Americans: Portrayed as villains
However, this survey helps puts a corrective light on LGBTQ and Muslim relations.
“As a queer Muslim at these intersections, I am constantly aware of how the right wing uses any opportunity to demonize Muslims and hypocritically uses LGBT rights as a proxy to do that,” said Arshad.
Moustafa Bayoumi, writing for The Guardian, had the same idea: “Rightwing populism is especially devoted to this narrative.”
“The underlying point here is not that Muslims aren’t homophobic. Some clearly are. Some undoubtedly aren’t. Rather, the crucial point – borne out by the Pew data – is that positions can change over time,” he explained.