Americans remain wary of Islam
Americans are conflicted over Islam as the FBI investigates a growing list of anti-Islamic incidents. Still, Muslims and their mosques are being welcomed in some communities.
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Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that “a record number of Muslim workers are complaining of employment discrimination, from co-workers calling them ‘terrorist’ or ‘Osama’ to employers barring them from wearing head scarves or taking prayer breaks.”Skip to next paragraph
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“Although Muslims make up less than 2 percent of the United States population, they accounted for about one-quarter of the 3,386 religious discrimination claims filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year,” the Times reports.
As for the proposed mosque and Islamic center new ground zero in New York, 80 percent of likely voters in New York State say a Muslim group has the right to build there, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Friday. But 57 percent say doing so would be wrong.
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reported Friday that 35 proposed mosques and Islamic centers have encountered community resistance in the last two years.
“In many cases, the opposition has centered on neighbors' concerns about traffic, noise, parking and property values – the same objections that often greet churches and other houses of worship as well as commercial construction projects,” reports Pew. “In some communities, however, opponents of mosques also have cited fears about Islam, sharia law and terrorism.”
At the same time, new mosques have been welcomed in several communities around the country, including the Philadelphia suburb of Berwyn where a new mosque is next door to a Jewish synagogue and across the street from a Baptist church.
The mosque and the synagogue share parking lots, and Muslims help with tasks that Jews cannot perform on the Sabbath, reports the Associated Press.
Mosque president Mohammad Aziz echoes that sentiment.
"We have much more in common than not in common," said. "We are blessed with very good neighbors."
VIDEO: Build a mosque near ground zero?