While U.S. media and politicians often portray Muslims as opposed to homosexuality and the LGBT community, this depiction actually directly contradicts the most recent data.
According to 2017 statistics recently released by the Pew Research Center, the majority of Muslim Americans say homosexuality should be accepted by society, at 52 percent. The percentage is even higher among millennial Muslim Americans, at 60 percent.
Muslims are more accepting of homosexuality than many Christians
While these numbers are still below the general public – which stands at 63 percent acceptance overall and 74 percent among millennials – the data also suggests American Muslims are growing to accept the homosexual community at a faster rate than others.
Acceptance of the homosexual community has increased by 25 percent since 2011, whereas acceptance has increased by less than half of that in the general public, at 12 percent.
Strikingly, Muslims are far from being the most homophobic religious group in the US. In fact, while over 50 percent of Muslim Americans accept the homosexual community, only 34 percent of white evangelical Protestant Christians believe that homosexuality should be accepted by society in 2016.
White evangelical protestants are also shifting their views at a slower rate than Muslims and the general public, with only an 11 percent increase in acceptance from 2006 to 2016. Evangelical Protestants are the largest religious group in the U.S., comprising just over 25 percent of the population.
The Christian subgroup is also one of the most likely to hold Islamophobic views.
Muslims feel solidarity with other oppressed groups
A queer American Muslim activist told Huff Post that American Muslims may be feeling a great sense of solidarity with other oppressed groups, such as the LGBT community.
"Since September 11, the Muslim community has been dealing with severe erosion of their civil rights which has made the community more sympathetic to violations of civil rights against other marginalized communities in the U.S.," Urooj Arshad, a member of the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity, said.
Muslim activists and politicians stand with the LGBT community
In the wake of increased Islamophobia since the campaign and election of U.S. President Donald Trump, leading Muslims activists and politicians have raised their voices in solidarity with the LGBT community.
"I ask you to stand and continue to keep your voice loud for Black women, for native women, for undocumented women, for LGBTQ communities, for people with disabilities," Palestinian-American Muslim activist Linda Sarsour said during her speech at the historic Women's March on Washington D.C. in January.
The first Muslim ever elected to the U.S. Congress – Keith Ellison – has also been a strong supporter of LGBT rights.
"Keith believes in expanding marriage rights and responsibilities to same-sex couples and to have those marriages recognized by other states and by the federal government," the politician's official website says.