Interview: To Elect Trump, Evangelicals Could Find Common Cause with Muslims

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Surprising points of political commonality found between religious groups in fifth annual American Muslim Poll.

In a tightly contested presidential race, might Muslims swing the US election?

Referencing the release of President Donald Trump’s tax returns in Tuesday’s debate, former vice president’s Joe Biden’s “inshallah” [Arabic for “if God wills”] may have been a nod to the strong support he receives from this community.

But according to data from the fifth annual American Muslim Poll, Muslims make up only 1 percent of the American population, only 74 percent are eligible to vote, and only 57 percent are registered.

Why then do they occupy such an outsized space in the mind of many American evangelicals? And what should evangelicals better understand about the American Muslim community and their political preferences?

CT spoke with Dalia Mogahed, director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), which commissioned the poll. Surveying 2,167 respondents—including more than 800 Muslims, 350 Jews, 200 Catholics, and 200 white evangelicals—ISPU aimed to showcase Muslim perspectives within the context of America’s landscape of faith.

Among the findings is that American Muslims disproportionately practice their politics at the local level. Over 1 in 5 has attended a town hall meeting (22%), compared to white evangelicals and the general public (12% vs. 15%).

And while only 27 percent of the general public reports satisfaction over the direction of the country, both Muslims (37%) and white evangelicals (42%) are more positive.

Are they satisfied with the same things?

CT and Mogahed discussed the social conservatism of many American Muslims, their willingness to build coalitions on pro-life and religious liberty issues, and the surprising numbers concerning …

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