(Photo: Flickr/SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget) Muslim Americans feel they are thriving.

In the decade following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, America’s Muslim population has had to navigate a landscape arguably more full or fear, mistrust and scapegoating than any other other religion. But despite the adversity, a study released from the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center reveals an optimistic community that believes it is thriving. And, researchers say, that positive mindset continues to grow substantially each year.

According to the poll, the number of Muslim Americans who believe they are thriving is at 60 percent, which is higher than every other religious group except for the Jewish community, narrowly ranking first with 61 percent. Following Muslims came Mormons with 56 percent, no religion/atheist/agnostics with 55 percent, Catholics with 54 percent and Protestants with 52 percent.

Additionally, the number of Muslims who felt they were suffering- 3 percent- was also on par with nearly all ther faith groups, who, besides Jews with 2 percent, had the same percentage.

But what is most striking, researchers say, is the improvement in Muslim Americans’ life evaluations between 2008 and 2011: it jumped 19 percent, which is double the increase of any other major religious group in America.

And, not only did the poll find that Muslim Americans are optimistic about the present, it discovered that members of that faith were also the most positive about their future. While neither Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Mormons or Atheist/Agnostic/no religion rated what their life would be like in five years higher than an 8 on a 1-10 scale, Muslims ranked the highest with an 8.4 rating.

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for CT Online and Counseling Today. Contact her at hrudow@counseling.org.