Eighty-two percent of the American public says that Muslims in the United States face discrimination, with a majority saying that they face “a lot” of it, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.
Pew conducted its survey of 1,502 adults from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5, a few weeks after the election of Donald Trump, whom civil rights groups have repeatedly criticized for making inflammatory statements about minority groups, particularly Muslims.
Trump called during his campaign for a ban on Muslim immigrants and a database to register Muslims. He has also suggested that Muslims in America are aware of and shielding terrorists in their midst and that Muslim refugees constitute a “Trojan Horse,” secretly armed with dangerous ideology.
American Muslim leaders have voiced concerns about some of Trump’s recent Cabinet picks, warning that the nominees have “a well-documented history of outright bigotry directed at Muslims.”
Pew surveys show that Americans have, for years, ranked Muslims as the group that faces the most discrimination, followed by gays and lesbians.
But the numbers released Thursday also show a shift across the board: A growing number of Americans now say that Muslims, African Americans, Hispanics and women face “a lot” of discrimination. And a majority (57 percent) say Muslims face “a lot” of it — a seven-point jump from the last time Pew asked this question three years ago.
The number of people who say black Americans face “a lot” of discrimination shot up since the survey three years ago, from 22 percent of Americans to 41 percent.
The survey results also showed that Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (89 percent) are more likely than Republicans and Republican leaners (73 percent) to say that there is discrimination against Muslims, and a significant majority of Democrats (69 percent) say there is “a lot” of discrimination.
The only groups that Republicans are more likely to view as the victims of discrimination: evangelical Christians and whites. About half of all Republicans and Republican leaners say that whites and evangelicals are discriminated against. Among Democrats and Democratic leaners, one-third say evangelicals face discrimination, and 29 percent say white people do.