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Americans on Muslims

Warning-muslims-nearby Warning-muslims-nearbyThe Gallup World Religion Survey, just out, shows some disturbing attitudes towards Muslims amongst Americans.

  • Americans express more prejudice toward Muslims than any other faith group. Almost a third say they harbor "some" or "a great deal" of prejudice against Muslims.
  • Ironically, those who say they are prejudiced against Jews are the most likely to be prejudiced against Muslims.
  • Only about a third of Americans claim to have at least "some" knowledge about Islam, but more than half (53%) say they are at least "somewhat" unfavorable to it.
  • Fewer than half of Americans (47%) say they know even one Muslim, but it doesn't seem to make any difference on their attitudes toward "Muslims" in general.

The one thing that seems to affect people's attitudes toward Muslims the most is whether or not they themselves attend religious services frequently.  Those who attend more than once a week are less likely to be prejudiced against Muslims. 

All of this matters to anyone who believes in the power of person-to-person diplomacy. Prejudice against Muslims risks alienating the five to eight million Muslims in the U.S. who are potential partners in the fight against Islamic extremists. It also feeds the victim narrative that extremists use so effectively against us.


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