Chicago: US Muslims are far more satisfied with the direction of their country than most Americans even though nearly half of them have faced discrimination and prejudice in the past year, a poll found on Tuesday.
   
The survey was conducted ahead of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks and aimed to provide a portrait of the 2.75 million Muslims living in the United States.
   
"Despite headlines and discussions about the possibility of Islamic radicalism and extremism, what our data shows on Tuesday is that the Muslim American community is quite mainstream and moderate," said Pew Research Center analyst Greg Smith.
   
"The vast majority of (US) Muslims continue to oppose extremism, telling us things like suicide bombing in defence of Islam can never be justified."
   
While 55 per cent of respondents said being a Muslim in the United States has become more difficult since the 9/11 attacks, 48 per cent said they think ordinary Americans are generally "friendly" towards Muslims.
   
Strikingly, some 56 per cent of US Muslims said they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country compared with just 23 per cent of the general public.
   
One reason could be because Muslims -- who overwhelmingly support President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party – are more satisfied with the current political climate.
   
Just 38 per cent of Muslims surveyed by Pew in 2007 said they were satisfied with the direction of the country.
   
The survey found a similar increase in the number of Muslims who view US efforts to combat terrorism as "sincere." Opinion is currently evenly divided (43 per cent to 41 percent) whereas more than twice as many US Muslims (55 per cent to 26 percent) viewed US anti-terrorism efforts as insincere during George W Bush's presidency.
   
American Muslims are also much more integrated than the general public tends to believe, the survey found.
   
Some 56 per cent of Muslim Americans said that most Muslims who come to the United States want to adopt US customs while just a third of the general public believes Muslim immigrants want to assimilate.

And while about a quarter of the general public thinks that Muslim support for extremism is increasing, just four percent of Muslims agree.

(Agencies)