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American Muslims as likely as general population to serve in US military, poll finds

Friday September 23, 2022

US soldiers pose for a group shot after becoming American citizens at a naturalisation ceremony on 2 July 2021 in New York City (AFP) 

American Muslims are just as likely as any other faith group to serve in the US military, a new poll by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (Ispu) has found.

More specifically, white Muslims are more likely than white non-Muslims among the general American public to serve in the military. The numbers in the poll came down to 17 percent versus 11 percent. 

The findings were listed in Ispu’s American Muslim Poll 2022: A Politics and Pandemic Status Report. 

According to the poll, roughly four in five Muslims in America hold US citizenship. However, Muslims are still just as likely to serve in the military as the general American public.

The poll found that 11 percent of Muslims, 10 percent of Catholics and Protestants, 13 percent of white Evangelicals, and nine percent of the nonaffiliated and the general public served in the armed forces. 

"What the findings tell us is that American Muslims are part and parcel of American society, so it's not necessarily a surprise that we would find representation in the US military,” Ispu research project manager and American Muslim Poll 2022 co-author Erum Ikramullah told Middle East Eye.

The poll also specifies that white Muslims (17 percent) are more likely than Asian (4 percent) and Arab Muslims (less than 1 percent) to serve in the military. When it comes to Black Muslims, they are just as likely as Black non-Muslims to serve the US.

Those numbers seem to be unaffected by US interventions in the largely Muslim Middle East. In August, a major study entitled Introducing the Military Intervention Project: A New Dataset on US Military Interventions, 1776–2019, concluded that US military interventions "increasingly" target the Middle East and Africa, making up more than a quarter of the country's campaigns throughout its history. 

From its founding in 1776 to 2019, the US has undertaken almost 400 military interventions, with more than a quarter occurring in the post-Cold War period, the report found.

In addition, it also found that the post-9/11 era resulted in "higher hostility levels", with US military adventures becoming "overwhelmingly commonplace". 


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