When we think of different races or cultures or religious followings, they evoke strong emotions for widely varying reasons. It’s nearly impossible for anyone to say they don’t immediately judge another–even if on a smaller scale than those of us who are more openly fearful, racist or xenophobic. We all stereotype to the detriment of ourselves and others, even if we don’t want to. We all base our opinions on the experiences we’ve had or shared with others, and we all live our lives in the same way. Here in America though, how do those of the Jewish and Islamic faiths compare with one another? Do the demographics of these two subsections of America prove any of our preconceived notions wrong? Read on to find out.
First, here’s a big standout from studies done by the Pew Research Center on both groups, which handed out surveys to Muslim and Jewish Americans. If you grow up Jewish in America, then a coin toss will decide if you lean to the left or to the right. By comparison, only just under a third of Muslims consider themselves liberal. Even so, 80 percent of Muslim Americans voted Hillary while 70 percent of Jewish Americans voted Trump. Probably not too surprising, considering Trump’s treatment of the Islamic community.
Jewish American are more likely to graduate college and subsequently earn more dollar bills each year than their Muslim American counterparts. That said, Muslim Americans weigh in these two demographics at about the same as the average American, while Jewish Americans just happen to weigh in a little bit above. This factoid is usually teased in popular culture, but perhaps that stems from jealousy. We have a deeply rooted passion for stigmatizing the poor, so surely we can’t do the same to the wealthy–right?
Fewer Muslim Americans intermarry. In fact, they do so only about thirteen percent of the time, while Jewish Americans do so about 58 percent of the time.
Muslim Americans are far more likely to report having faced discrimination than their Jewish counterparts, only fifteen percent of whom feel they’ve been discriminated against. In just the last year alone, about half of Muslims have experienced hate-based discrimination. Even so, 90 percent of Muslims are proud to be citizens of this country.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the views of the average Muslim American contrast with the views of the average American when considering violence. 59 percent of Americans feel that violence doled out among civilians can be deemed justifiable at least some of the time. In stark contrast, 75 percent of Muslim Americans say this is completely unacceptable–casting doubt on the longstanding average American belief that Islam is a religion seated in violence. Maybe it’s just the rest of us who are obsessed with violence?
Some of these statistics might come as a surprise, while others might skirt around truths we already feel we know. In either case, it’s for the best to reduce assumptions and treat others as we’d like to be treated. We all have differences, and we all have relatability. It’s our job to embrace both.