Muslim-Americans are pretty much like other Americans. Thats the message of a comprehensive survey made public on August 2. A decade after the September 11 terrorist attacks, a Gallup poll released Tuesday found that the vast majority of Muslim-Americans say they are loyal to the United States and optimistic about the future, the New York Times reports, adding, The poll in many ways contradicts the stereotype of Muslim-Americans as an alienated and discontented religious minority. Muslim-Americans are more likely than members of most other communities to frown upon violence used for political purposes. Underscoring their lack of sympathy for Al-Qaeda, Muslim-Americans are also the least likely major religious group in the US to say there is ever a justification for individuals or small groups to attack civilians, states the Gallup report accompanying the survey. Roughly one in 10 Muslim-Americans say such attacks are sometimes justified. In every other major religious group except Mormons, the proportion of people who say such attacks are sometimes justified is at least twice that. And contrary to stereotypes, Muslim-Americans actually express more tolerance for different beliefs than members of almost any other religious community, the survey found. In a number of ways though, Muslim-Americans diverge in their attitudes - understandably so. They are less supportive of American foreign policy and have a more commonsensical view of US actions abroad. Although it is sometimes suggested that Americas unpopularity in majority-Muslim countries is a result of misinformation spread by those countries leaders to deflect attention from their own repressive policies, most Muslim-Americans do not believe this, states the report. Sixty-five percent say the distrust is based on what the US has done. On top of the list of recent US failings in the Muslim world is the Iraq War. More than eight out of 10 Muslim-Americans believe the Iraq War to be wrong. If only the rest of the country had earlier picked up the cue, we perhaps wouldnt have had this misadventure. Another area where Muslim-Americans deviate is in their perception of discrimination. They feel more victimised than members of most other religious groups say American Muslims are. You cant blame Muslim-Americans for such reactions. Anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States is far from a fringe ideology. In the Gallup survey, one-third of Protestants and Catholics think American-Muslims to be sympathetic to Al Qaeda. (A Gallup poll in March found that almost three in 10 Americans overall think Muslim-Americans to be indulgent toward the terrorist organisation.) Such prejudice has real-life consequences. Several individuals in the United States have been murdered since the September 11 attacks because of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hatred. Dozens of mosques have been vandalised, defaced or torched. Over the last two years, 35 Muslim religious sites have faced opposition, reports the Pew Center on Religion & Public Life. The Gallup report has a number of proposals, such as involving Muslim-Americans in the crafting of foreign policy, and for the US government to systematically track anti-Muslim-American discrimination and global Islamophobia. McClatchy