Matthew Cantirino at First Things highlights an interesting aspect of a large new Gallup poll on American Muslims a decade after 9/11. The survey shows that Muslims stand out from other religious groups in that they tend to identify with their religion (65 percent) almost as much as they do with their country, the United States (69 percent). Mormons (90 percent to 92 percent) are the only other group with similar numbers, while Protestants, Catholics and Jews all tend to identify with country significantly more than they do with their faith.muslims and countryCantirino wonders "whether American Muslims who, it seems, largely take their faith seriously, understand something which has been forgotten by the majority of professing Christians and Jews in this country: that allegiance to political authorities (however just or deserving those authorities are) must ultimately be subordinate to allegiance to God and the exigencies of religion."He writes:

"The Gallup results suggest that many Americans have allowed patriotism to consume their faith rather than complement it, and the comparisons of American Muslims to other citizens of faith causes one to wonder whether U.S. Muslims will eventually come to value patriotism above all else, as wellthat they will identify with the nation first and treat their faith simply as an interesting add-on."

Another interesting aspect of the survey is that Muslim Americans are more likely than other religious groups to reject terrorism, defined as an individual or small group of people targeting and killing civilians:terror graficThere are a number of possible explanations for the results, such as the fact that Muslims around the world are so often victims of terrorism -- from attacks within their own community -- and perhaps the impulse to distance themselves from actions like the Sept. 11 attacks that resulted in much grief for Muslims.But the responses from Christians are a bit eye-opening. What's going on there?

David Gibson is the director of Fordham’s Center on Religion & Culture.

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