In a CNN op-ed, Karam Dana and Matt A. Barreto, SSRC Academia in the Public Sphere grantees and co-principal investigators of the Muslim American Public Opinion Survey, consider Representative Peter King’s upcoming hearings on “the radicalization of American Muslims” in light of their research on Muslim identity and civic engagement:

In 2004, Rep. Peter King stated that 80% to 85% of mosques in America were controlled by Islamic fundamentalists and amounted to “an enemy living amongst us.” In 2007 he said, “Unfortunately we have too many mosques in this country” and called for FBI surveillance and infiltration of mosques because that’s where terrorists were being “homegrown.

“Just a month ago he repeated the claim that over 80% of mosques are controlled by radical imams. Now, he is holding a congressional hearing to expose the radical elements of Islam in America.

In direct contrast to his claims, a study we conducted—the Muslim American Public Opinion Survey (MAPOS)—found that mosques and religiosity are actually associated with high levels of civic engagement and support for the American political system. Our study interviewed 1,410 American Muslims across the nation and asked questions about the importance of religion, civic and political participation in the United States.

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