Anti-Muslim Myths Shattered In US Study

March 3, 2009

Author: Karin Zeitvogel

Source: Middle East Online

Muslim American women are educated, active in the workforce and on an equal footing with men in terms of income, according to a report released Monday, which analysts said chips away at myths associated with Islam.

"What we learned in the study is that US Muslim women are roughly equal to men and to women who are non-Muslims in America in their level of education, level of income, level of religiosity and mosque attendance," Ahmed Younis, a senior analyst at the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, told reporters.

"The Achilles Heel that has always existed -- that Muslims are 'not like us' because their women are oppressed -- well, the data speak to the proposition that that is absolutely not true," said Younis.

The report, based on data culled from 946 people who identified themselves as Muslims out of a sample of more than 319,000 interviewed across the United States last year, showed that Muslim American women and the religious group as a whole are second only to Jewish Americans in terms of educational attainment.

Forty percent of Muslims have a bachelor's or graduate degree, compared with 61 percent of Jews and 29 percent of the US population as a whole.

US Muslim women stand out, both compared to their global counterparts and women from other religious groups in the United States, in that they are statistically as likely as their male counterparts to have earned a university degree or higher.