Survey: US Muslims Report Similar or Higher Levels of Tolerance in Charitable Giving Compared to Non-Muslims
U.S. Muslims are similar to or above average in their self-perceptions of their tolerance compared to the general U.S. population, according to a survey by the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative (MPI) at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI. MPI surveyed U.S. Muslims and non-Muslims to understand their patterns of giving and philanthropic activities.
The Pluralism in Muslim American Philanthropy 2022 Report shows that, on average, U.S. Muslims surveyed perceived themselves to have higher levels of characteristics such as tolerance, valuing diversity and racial inclusivity, religiosity, and motivation to donate to causes benefitting people with marginalized identities (described in the study as “donation motivation”) than U.S. non-Muslims perceived themselves to have. This is despite U.S. Muslims being a racialized religious minority often facing negative perceptions and media stereotypes.
U.S. Muslims comprise a highly diverse racial, ethnic and religious demographic, diversity that is reflected in their theological beliefs, religious and civic practices, cultural traditions and opinions.
“This research provides significant insights into how tolerance and diversity are reflected in U.S. Muslims’ philanthropic behaviors and decisions,” said Shariq Siddiqui, Ph.D., director of MPI and assistant professor of philanthropic studies at the school. “Despite stigmatization and discrimination, overall, U.S. Muslims report higher levels of tolerance and pluralistic values than do non-Muslims regarding why, how and where they give.”
“Our findings suggest that nonprofit organizations that demonstrate greater diversity, tolerance and pluralism are more likely to gain the support of U.S. Muslims,” Siddiqui continued. “Donors in the survey reported that they are more inclined to give to organizations that embrace diversity, equity and inclusion in their boards, staff and programming.”
The reported effect of political conservatism on tolerance differed significantly between U.S. Muslims and non-Muslims. U.S. Muslims with high levels and with low levels of political conservatism self-reported as being the most tolerant. In the non-Muslim sample, on average, self-reported tolerance increased with a decline in political conservatism. This finding suggests that the least and most politically conservative U.S. Muslims are the most tolerant in their philanthropic activities, while for the non-Muslim sample less conservative individuals are more tolerant.
U.S. Muslims and the general population both perceived their faith traditions and local faith communities as the most likely to value diversity in religious belief and practice, followed by their family and local communities at large. Compared to their faith, family, and local community, they perceived the United States overall as least likely to value diversity in religious beliefs or practices.
The MPI collected data in a web-based survey of 1,024 U.S. Muslim and 960 general population respondents. The Pluralism in Muslim American Philanthropy 2022 Report was sponsored by the Muslim Philanthropy Initiative and funded by the International Strategy and Policy Institute and Islamic Relief USA.
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