Middle Class, Mostly Mainstream, And Favorite Boogeymen

Earlier this week, the Pew Research Center released the results of a nationwide poll of U.S. Muslims, called “Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream.” (Full report available here. Warning: PDF format.) Having looked at the survey results, I was bewildered by the way in which they were covered in the media. Newsweek‘s Lorraine Ali ponders this as well:

According to a Pew Research Center poll released earlier this week, Muslim-Americans are “largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world.” The poll showed the majority surveyed have close non-Muslim friends, believe in a strong American work ethic and feel there is little conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society. Overall, an encouraging picture, right?

Not according to a cavalcade of major media outlets. On Tuesday and Wednesday, coverage of the poll was downright foreboding. “Supporting Terror?” read the CNN crawl at the bottom of the screen as John Roberts interviewed a group of young moderate Muslims about the poll. On CBS News online, the headline incorrectly stated that 26% OF YOUNG U.S. MUSLIMS OK BOMBS. And in USA Today, more misinformation and scare tactics: POLL: 1 IN 4 YOUNGER U.S. MUSLIMS SUPPORT SUICIDE BOMBINGS.

Ali interviews a few people and tries to find out why the coverage went that way. Read it all here.

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