Pew: U.S. Attitudes on Islam Post-Boston

May 07, 2013

            The Boston Marathon bombings do not appear to have changed the public’s view of Islam. In a notable poll, about 42 percent of Americans say Islam is more likely to encourage violence than other religions, while 46 percent say Islam does not. Opinions reflected in the new Pew Research Center survey are similar to those found in others from the past decade. But in March 2002 ― just six months after the 9/11 attacks ― only a quarter of respondents said Islam was more likely to encourage violence.

            The new poll finds sizeable partisan and differences in attitudes towards Islam and violence. About 62 percent Republican respondents say Islam is more likely to encourage violence. Only 29 percent of Democrats share that view. The data also reveals a significant difference in opinion among age groups. About 60 percent of respondents under 30 say Islam does not encourage violence more than other religions, compared with only 29 percent of people age 65 and older.

            About 45 percent of respondents say Muslim Americans face a lot of discrimination, and 28 percent say they face some discrimination. Overall, Americans say the group faces more discrimination than gays and lesbians, Hispanic Americans, African Americans or women. But perception of discrimination also varies widely by party, age and race. Democrats, youth, and whites are more likely to say Muslims face a lot of discrimination compared to Republicans, older respondents, Hispanic Americans and African Americans. The following are excerpts from the report, followed by a link to the full results.

            The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted May 1-5 among 1,504 adults, finds sizable demographic and religious differences in attitudes toward Islam and violence. And the partisan gap is as large as ever: 62% of Republicans say that Islam encourages violence more than other religions, compared with 39% of independents and just 29% of Democrats.

            The survey also finds that Muslim Americans are seen as facing more discrimination than some other groups in society, including gays and lesbians, Hispanic Americans, African Americans and women.


Click here for the full report.


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