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New Study Suggests American Muslims Are Less Homophobic Than White Evangelicals

Muslims marching in the 2016 Portland Pride Parade

While President Trump may claim he's protecting LGBT people from homophobia in the Muslim world, some of the biggest opponents of our rights are his fan base.

No stranger to stoking fear in name of getting votes, Donald Trump has long claimed that banning immigrants and refugees from Muslim countries was his way of supporting LGBT Americans. Along with other conservative politicians, the president has exploited LGBT tragedies, particularly the shooting at Pulse nightclub, to spread xenophobia and anti-Muslim backlash. His angle? Claiming that sharia law is the greatest threat to, as he would put it, "the LGBTs."

After the horrors of the attack in Orlando, Trump's mourning looked and lot more like gloating. But when the president is so quick to tweet about violence committed by Muslims, but not the hate crimes by white supremacists against minorities, his silence is screeching.

Perhaps Trump's commitment to protecting Americans doesn't extend to protecting them from his fan base. White evangelical Christianss are some of Trump's most loyal supporters, one of most notable ones being Mike Pence, America's second homophobe in command. As much as the Trump adminstration would like to frame Muslims as the biggest threat to LGBT people, a recent study from the Pew Research Center found that American Muslims are more likely to believe homosexuality should be accepted by society than his white evangelical base. In its poll, 52 percent of Muslims held tolerant views regarding gays, compared to 34 percent of white evangelicals.

Amid fears of terrorism and calls for more severe vetting from the Trump adminstration, the violent effects of evangelical culture and the transport of its ideas across borders are often ignored. Many believe Western fundamentalists brought homophobia to places like Uganda, which is one of 33 African countries that have adopted antigay laws, although Uganda's was struck down in court. Support for antigay measures, including a proposal to make homosexuality punishable by death in some instances, skyrocketed in the nation after visits from American Christian right groups.

Although there's no denying the treatment of queer people under in the Islamic world is often abominable, Muslims living in the U.S. are not as big a threat to America as the people who seek to make it great (and antigay) again.

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Ariel Sobel