This overall shift does not necessarily mean that the average American is more liberal than conservative because the mean is now less than zero. But it does mean that people on the liberal end of the scale are now somewhat closer to the center of the scale than are those at the conservative end. As a result, the relative sizes of the “consistently liberal” and “consistently conservative” groups are not strictly comparable. That is, because of the scale’s construction, we would not definitively conclude that there are more consistent liberals (12%) than consistent conservatives (9%) today. Yet the changes over time—., the overall increase in the proportion who are consistently liberal or conservative—and the differences in attitudes and behaviors across groups, are robust even when alternative definitions that account for the scaling differences are used.
Nation of Islam – One of the groups that some Muslim respondents named when they were asked, “Are you Shia, Sunni or another tradition?” The Nation of Islam is a small religious group primarily composed of African American Muslims in the United States. Many Muslims consider the Nation of Islam’s beliefs heretical, in large part because the movement teaches that its founder was the embodiment of God, and that 20th-century leader Elijah Muhammad was a prophet, in contrast with the Sunni and Shia belief that Muhammad (who died in 632) was the last prophet. (Also see Sunni and Shia .)