Example of education, religious behavior & religious attendance of american muslims research proposal

A number of research questions have a valid impact on the effect of education on the religious behavior and religious attendance of Muslims in the United States. The most pertinent issues on this topic include:
– What is the education level of the average Muslim in the United States?
– How have education levels affected the religious behavior of Muslims in the United States?
– How have education levels affected the religious attendance of Muslims in the United States?
– Is there a correlation between education and religiousness of Muslims in the United States?

Step Two

In order to address each of the questions this study seeks to find out the existing relationship between education levels and religious attendance. This will involve two sources of data, statistical and contextual. Statistical data will be drawn from factual studies, journal articles and other scholarly sources. The contextual data will come from the representations of Muslim American’s in different types of media such as TV programs, Internet user groups, newspaper articles and advertisements.
The preliminary foundation is a random sample of 1050 Muslims done by the PEW Research Center. In their study entitled “ Muslim Americans Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream” they conducted in depth interviews with 1050 American Muslims who were chosen to present a representative demographic sample. These individuals were with regard to their education level and their religious attendance in addition to other factors. This 2007 study by the PEW Research Center of Muslim Americans (which is attached as Appendix A). Was the most comprehensive study of Muslim Americans at that time. The PEW research team interviewed almost 60, 000 individuals to obtain a representative sample of 1050. This research team interviewed this representative sample further to more fully explore their perspectives and attitudes.
This study reveled that there was a racially diverse, youthful and generally well-educated Muslim American population. This sector of the population enjoys approximately the same financial success as the general United States public. . This study showed the Islamic community was similar to the general American public regarding education and income levels. In the population sample polled for this study 10% attended graduate school, 14% were college graduates, 23% had some college, 32% were high school graduates and 21% had not graduated high school. There is further comparison in the table below.
In general the study found most American Muslims fully 72%, felt religion is “ very important” in their life, 62% – almost two thirds say they pray every day while 40% of those interviewed attended religious services at least weekly.
This Study also looked into the correlates between religious observances and involvement and the general happiness quotient of these individuals. This involvement is portrayed in the following table.
Another Facet of Muslim American Life , the PEW study reveled that the more educated an American is the greater the difficulty they perceived in their lives since 9/11

Step Three

The data drawn from factual studies, journal articles and other scholarly sources shall all be published or updated subsequent to 2000. The contextual data from the representations of Muslim American’s in different types of media such as TV programs, Internet user groups, newspaper articles and advertisements will be of more recent origin. No contemporary source shall be utilized if it was not updated since 2007.

Step Four

The first part of the analysis is fact based and built upon a foundation of the 1050 individuals who participated in the PEW Research Center’s study. This shall provide the basic unit of analysis and the framework into which the subsequent data shall be incorporated and analyzed. This includes information regarding education, participation in religious beliefs. Regular attendance to Mosque, Church or any other religious ritual, does not always indicate a correspondingly religious belief. It is not uncommon for individuals to attend religious institutions more for the positive “ Social Capitol” generated than because of a powerful devotion to their religion. This occurs more frequently among more educated individuals who are more likely to turn to science for answers and religion for social networking. .
American Muslims also are concerned with real or perceived negative social capitol generated by attendance at regular religious services. There is an ongoing concern that any given Mosque may be somehow linked to one or more political or social groups that are ultimately affiliated in some way with a terrorist organization. .

Step Five

The media content shall be based upon Internet keyword searches, media program reviews, and other media sources. It shall indicate the source, assumed educational level, assumed religious behavior, and assumed religious attendance. This information provides for random sampling of various media sources across a broad set of demographics.

Step Six

The coding categories draw upon the fact based qualitative analysis along with the contextually derived quantitative analysis. The concept this study will explore is the facts and the myths regarding the effects of education on religious behavior and religious attendance of Muslims in the United States. The coding categories therefore incorporate the fact that most Muslims in the United States have at least some college and identify themselves as either highly or moderately committed to their religion. It also takes into account that many Muslims are concerned with negative media imagery and possible association with terrorist activity because of openly practicing their religion. This is especially true in the post 9/11 era and in light of the concerns raised when it was discovered that there were some Mosques that appeared disenfranchised from all political activity on the surface but who actually did have covert ties to terrorist groups. . It also takes into account that part of an Islamic religious education is pursuing a worldly education and a religious education in such a manner as to combine them and the character to be compatable with an Islamic worldview. “ This process requires the Muslim family to expose its children and adults to all knowledge as a means of understanding the parameters set in the Qurʿān to achieve taqwā, an equilibrated, constructive relationship with God, other human beings, and nature.” ,

Step Seven

The tendency in the media is to dramatize issues. Therefore, most Muslims, along with people of other faiths, are often portrayed at a conflict point where they act outside of their general normal practices in reaction to event based or social based pressures. This is especially true of entertainment and advertizing media where the media source creates images with the sole intent of generating an immediate visceral reaction. By contrast, text based social media sources, such as facebook, are more likely to yield a gentler return as friends exchange thoughts, concepts and precepts across demographic groups. These social media sources portray the most educated Muslims as the ones most involved with their own religions, and most likely to entertain ideas from other religions as well. Graphic based social media sources, such as YouTube presents the broadest range of all, running from gentle poetry and folk songs to the latest violent protest events. In this group as well, it appears that the higher education levels have corresponding high commitment to religious involvement. In the mas-media there are two prevalent stereotypes. First is that of a well educated individuals who are just as committed to their families and religious institutions as those from other demographic groups. The second is that of the wild-eyed terrorist, often poorly educated.

Step Eight

This proposal utilizes a variety of tables including the following:


Duran, K., & Pipes, D. (2002, 08). Muslim Immigrants in the United States. Retrieved 12 08, 2012, from Center for Immigration Studies: http://www. cis. org/USMuslimImmigrants
Interfaith Alliance. (2012). What is the Truth About American Muslims? Retrieved 12 08, 2012, from Interfaith Alliance: http://interfaithalliance. org/americanmuslimfaq
McCleary, R. M. (2008, 03 28). Religion and Economic Development. Retrieved 12 08, 2012, from Stanford University: http://www. hoover. org/publications/policy-review/article/5729
Oxford Islamic Studies Online. (2012). Religious Education. Retrieved 12 08, 2012, from Oxford Islamic Studies Online: http://www. oxfordislamicstudies. com/article/opr/t236/e0212
PEW Research Center. (2007, 05 22). Miuslim Americans – Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream. Retrieved 12 09, 2007, from PEW Research Center: http://pewresearch. org/assets/pdf/muslim-americans. pdf