Exit poll (per MSNBC): 66% of republicans in New Hampshire want to ban all Muslims.

 

That got me thinking:  (1) 66% of republicans in NH are xenophobic.  (This probably reflects the view of 66% of republicans in the US.) and (2)  66% of republicans in NH have no idea what they are talking about.  (Nor do most anti-Muslim xenophobes.)  Republicans are afraid of Muslims immigrating from the Middle East.

I looked at global data from the Pew Research Center–“A nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. We conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research. We do not take policy positions.”  The following are their numbers from 2010:

  • Total Muslims in the world: 1,600,000,000 (that’s 1.6 BILLION)
  • Total Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa (where republicans think all Muslims come from): 317,000,000 (that’s 317 million)
  • Total Muslims from Asia-Pacific: 986,000,000 (that’s 986 million, more than three times more Muslims in Asia)
  • Countries with most Muslims: Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh (687,000,000 combined, more than twice as many in these four countries compared to the Middle East and North Africa combined)

So, are Americans fearful of immigrants from Indonesia?  No.  From India?  No.  So, should ALL Muslims be banned from immigrating to the U.S.?  No, because there are way more non-radical Muslims from countries outside of the Middle East than from countries within the Middle East.  Banning everyone who claims to be (or is suspected of being) a Muslim is not the solution.  It’s a knee-jerk, xenophobic reaction to an issue that requires more thoughtful, diplomatic solutions.