Friday News Roundup: Who’s the most diverse?

istock_000003001750xsmallA fascinating new study’s come out from Gallup this week.  What’s America’s most diverse religious group?

Says NPR’s John Ridley: “If you said Kabbalah, you spend too much time reading People magazine. If you said Muslim, you’ve probably read The Gallup Center for Muslim Studies “first comprehensive study of the Muslim American community and its habits, perspectives and beliefs.”

The study found a lot more than that.   It conducted 300,000 interviews – collecting a massive body of data – and ultimately finding that

Muslim Americans represent the only faith community without a majority race. They are black, white, Asian and Hispanic. African-Americans, not Arabs, make up the largest ethnic group (35 percent).

(It’s been said many times, but always bears repeating:  Not all Muslims are Arab.  Not all Arabs are Muslim.  And neither group is riddled with terrorists.)

They also discovered that:

  • American Muslim women are more likely than American Muslim men to have college and post-grad degrees – and their salaries are more equal to their male counterparts than women of other faiths (we non-Muslim women need to have a sit-down and figure out what they’re doing right).
  • Muslims are more likely to see themselves as “thriving” in the U.S. than in most other countries?   Where do they think they’re thriving better? Saudi Arabia…and Germany.
  • Still, lots of American Muslims aren’t exactly thrilled with their circumstances.  Fewer vote or volunteer in their communities than members of other traditions.  Many youth don’t really like the areas they live in.

Hence the New York Times headline:  Poll Finds U.S. Muslims Thriving, but Not Content.  You can see out the whole study here.

There are also some interesting developments in education this week:  critiques of the impact a new education code of conduct will have on religious teachers in UK schools – read this article, and see one blogger’s response* – as well as a new criticism of American textbooks claiming they “whitewash” Islamic extremism.

Meanwhile, in rare overlap of workplace discrimination and health care issues, a member of the NYPD is suing the force claiming his badge and gun were taken from him because he was “too religious” (he once claimed to see a demon in police HQ), while the NYPD contends that they did it because his psychiatric diagnoses (including the “demon delusion”) made him too unstable to serve.

The UK education articles do raise some really interesting points – I urge you to check ’em out.

See you next Friday!

*Some of these sources are more conservative than others, or religious in nature.  Tanenbaum is just the messenger, not the source.