What motivates religious doubt among American Muslims? Answers to this vital question often rest on isolated anecdotes and intuition. At a time when the US population as a whole is becoming less and less religious, however, the need for a more systematic assessment of doubt in the American Muslim community is especially pressing. To address this demand, we sampled over 600 Muslims across America and recorded their opinions on a number of social, political, and religious issues.
Drawing on data from the inaugural Muslim American Attitudes Survey, this study offers the first quantitative insights on religious doubt among American Muslims and complements the qualitative findings reported in “Modern Pathways to Doubt in Islam.”[1] The following analysis is designed to both guide further research on this topic and provide a useable reference for imams and other counselors. First, it presents a descriptive breakdown of the extent to which various issues cause Muslims to doubt their faith. These summary statistics provide a means to compare the impressions of community leaders in “Modern Pathways” with American Muslims’ actual attitudes and experiences. Second, examining the determinants of religious doubt, this study highlights a number of positive and negative correlates, commenting on the (at times, surprising) associations the analysis reveals. The study concludes with an assessment of the broader project’s main contributions thus far and a look ahead to the research avenues that remain.

The Roads to and from Doubt

The Correlates of Doubt


Appendix A – Sampling Methodology

Appendix B – Key Variable Measures

Appendix C – Additional Models