As GOP frontrunner Donald Trump stirred controversy this week by saying he would bar Muslims from entering the U.S., the Pew Research Center noted that a majority of American Muslims prefer the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.
A growing percentage of American immigrants are Muslim — with their percentage doubling from 1992 to 2012 — and 70 percent of American Muslims lean toward or identify with the Democrat Party, while only 11 percent identify as Republicans, according to a Pew study The Christian Post reported on earlier this year.
Sixty-eight percent of Muslims said they prefer a big federal government with more government programs, while just 21 percent said they favor smaller government with fewer programs.
While Trump was widely condemned by Democrats, Republicans and world leaders this week, polling suggests he has the support of 65 percent of the Republican base and 18 percent of Democrats for his plan to temporarily bar Muslims entrance into the U.S., according to a Bloomberg politics poll.
Pew also reported that about half of U.S. Muslims, 48%, believe their own religous leaders have not done enough to speak out against Muslim extremists.
During a speech on Monday at a Pearl Harbor Day rally aboard the USS Yorktown Memorial in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Trump called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."
While White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Tuesday that Trump's comments disqualify him from being president and asserted that Republicans should withdraw their support from him should he become the party's nominee, Evangelical leader Franklin Graham publically stated his agreement with the billionaire real estate mogul.
"For some time I have been saying that Muslim immigration into the United States should be stopped until we can properly vet them or until the war with Islam is over," wrote Graham.
"Donald J. Trump has been criticized by some for saying something similar. The new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said yesterday that he disagrees — saying that 'such views are not what this party stands for and more importantly it's not what this country stands for.' Politicians in Washington seem to be totally disconnected with reality."
Graham continued, "Fifty-one percent of Muslims living in America believe 'Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah (Islamic law) instead of the U.S. Constitution. Twenty-nine percent agree that violence against those who insult Mohammad is acceptable, and 25 percent agree that violence against America can be justified as part of global jihad. Among males under the age of 45, that number rises to 36 percent."
In November, the Council on American Islamic Relations stated that anti-Muslim rhetoric has increased for the first time in the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001.
"CAIR attributes this spike in anti-Muslim incidents to the Paris attacks and to the mainstreaming of Islamophobia by political candidates and lawmakers in the run-up to the 2016 general election," reads the statement in part.
"Of particular concern is the extreme anti-Muslim rhetoric and falsehoods being espoused by leading Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson," it continued.
"Another contributing factor to this marked rise in Islamophobic hostility is state governors and lawmakers playing on public fears and spreading misinformation about the federal government's ability to screen Syrian refugees being resettled into the United States."
According to the Pew study, Muslims are expected to make up 2.1 percent of the U.S. population by 2050.