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Abstract

This article examines the status of American Muslims in the United States in relationship to other cultural groups and some of the widespread stereotypes that plague Muslims in contemporary society. Much has been written about the discrimination faced by Muslims, particularly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, spawned by religious, racial, and ethnic bigotry. Some polls show many Americans harbor some prejudices against Muslims, but these prejudices have not resulted in widespread violence or discrimination; although there has been some violence and discrimination experienced by some Muslims, the empirical data show that the majority of American Muslims are very successful economically, educationally, socially content, and politically active. This can be explained by America’s commitment to the “American Creed: The core values of the United States—liberty, democracy, equality of opportunity, the rule of law, individualism, separation of church and state, and social justice—have allowed Muslims, like other cultural groups, to assimilate into America’s political and economic culture and maintain their distinct religious identity. This demonstrates that America’s historical and painful struggle to evolve—defined as the attempt to narrow the gap between our ideals and actual behavior—has produced a more just and democratic, albeit imperfect, society.