More than one in three US Muslims fear they could be targeted by white supremacist groups following President Donald Trump’s election and 42 per cent say their children have been bullied in school because of their faith, according to a survey.
That fear contributes to a lower-than-average rate of voting by adult Muslim citizens, according to a study released on Monday by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.
Cracking down on what he called “radical Islamic terrorists” and restricting travel from certain Middle Eastern countries have been major elements of Trump’s presidency.
The study found that 38 per cent of Muslims feared they could be victimised by white supremacist groups, a rate far higher than other major religions, and nearly one in five had made plans to leave the United States “if it becomes necessary”.
By comparison, 27 per cent of Jews, 11 per cent of Protestants and eight per cent of Roman Catholics and 16 per cent of the religiously unaffiliated voiced such concerns.
Forty-two per cent of Muslims say their school-aged children had been bullied because of their faith, more than quadruple the rate of the general population. One in four cases involved a teacher, the survey found.
Just 61 per cent of Muslims said they had voted in the 2016 presidential election, fewer than any other major religious group or the public at large, according to the survey of 2389 people conducted in January.
One in three Muslims who did not vote said it was because they did not like any of the candidates.
The survey had a margin of error of 5.1 per cent among Muslims and 2.8 per cent for the general public.
The survey period concluded three days after Trump took office and before actions, including presidential executive orders, to restrict travel from certain majority-Muslim countries.
At least four US mosques, in Texas, Florida and Washington, have been the target of arson this year. Jewish Community Centers across the nation have been subject to more than 100 bomb threats – all of which have been hoaxes.
Half of Muslims polled said their faith leaders and organisations need to condemn terrorism, more than the 44 per cent of the general public who held that view.
Muslim women and Muslims of Arab descent reported experiencing religious discrimination at higher rates than Muslim men and Muslims of other ethnicities, likely a result of their appearance more readily identifying them as Muslims.