News / USA

    Survey: Americans Split on Attitudes Toward Islam, Extremism

    FILE - A Muslim woman holds a poster during a protest against Donald Trump in New York, Dec. 20, 2015.
    FILE - A Muslim woman holds a poster during a protest against Donald Trump in New York, Dec. 20, 2015.
    VOA News

    A new survey revealed a sharp difference between Democrats and Republicans on how the next president of the United States should discuss Islamic extremism.

    The Pew Research Center study found 65 percent of Republicans, or those who lean Republican, want President Barack Obama's successor to speak bluntly about Islamic extremism, even if the statements are critical of Islam as a whole.

    However, 70 percent of Democrats, or those who lean Democratic, think the next president should speak more carefully.

    Overall though, half of all Americans want the next president not to denounce Islam as a whole when talking about Islamic extremism.

    The survey, which was conducted last month, also found that nearly half of those asked believe that some Muslim citizens hold anti-American attitudes, including 11 percent who believe that "most" or "almost all" U.S. Muslims are anti-American.

    Previous study

    A previous survey, conducted in December by the Pew Research Center, found nearly half of Americans think Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence, with a similar number saying they are "very concerned" about the rise of Islamic extremism in the U.S.

    But the current survey by Pew finds that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the bigger problem is that religion is being used by violent people to justify their actions.

    Obama visited an Islamic mosque in Baltimore Wednesday, where he acknowledged the “hugely distorted” negative view Muslim-Americans have had to endure with the rise of terrorism-related violence by Islamist extremists.

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    Comment Sorting
    by: williweb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
    February 04, 2016 8:33 AM
    Most of the terrorist attacks on Western societies have been carried out by Muslim extremists. It is a natural defensive reaction not to want Muslims among us. Different groups in Muslim society are constantly in open violent warfare with each other. That is not Western culture.

    One needs to look no further than Britain to see the loud protests against Western culture, and see that they don't want to integrate into Western culture, they want to change Western culture to their liking. The two cultures are incompatible and forcing their coexistence will only lead to unnecessary strife. I certainly would not want to live in a Muslim society and loudly protest against Islam. I would end up dead pretty quickly. You can't go to church there because they will not allow any churches, so why do we allow mosques? Trump can see the logic. Why can't all Americans?
    In Response

    by: ben
    February 04, 2016 10:06 AM
    Dear People of the word….. Do you know the truth about Islam? Or do you think it's about Bombing planes and killing innocent people.? Forget about the lies. I' am here to tell you how it really is. People of the world.. Islam is all about peace. Terrorism it doesn't teach It’s all about love and family and charity And praying to one God This is Islam

    So don't believe all you see and hear Too many people wear a title of a Muslim. But they don't practice Islam. And praying to one God This is Islam And it teaches us the creator's made this life for us a test. And if we follow truth and do good deeds, He'll reward us in the Next. If we remember God & teach each other the truth and patience in His way Together we can liv .in peace. This is Islam Lyrics by Yusuf Islam

    Please Google Islamic research foundation and visit the FAQ section for answers to questions you may have about Islam. I am sure that you will find that Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, justice, kindness, charity, love and worshiping one God

    by: KBG from: United States
    February 04, 2016 8:32 AM
    Oh for goodness sakes. What have the Christians done "in the name of" religion. What has the "Catholic Church" done, the Jewish people, and the list goes on. All seem to believe that "their" religion is the one "true" religion which is called "faith" I guess despite the lunacy. I remember being a little Catholic girl when a communion host fell on the ground. I went to pick it up and was people screamed at me not to pick it up...yet a young altar boy was allowed to get it. Heeelllloooo! Sexism? Gender inequality? Now women can give communion so has the church has grown? Still no women priests. I think Jesus would be so disappointed in this non-equality.

    No religion is without extremists. Muslims are no exception. I want no US President who would give up the values on which our country is based to get favor from citizens who are afraid of our differences. Assimilation of different cultures is what has made this country where most people want to live.

    This is not a democratic country nor are the freedoms that are professed "real". Democratic freedom is a goal for which we continue to strive. I love this country and am proud to be an American as well as a world citizen.

    by: lone eagle from: Bangkok, Thailand
    February 04, 2016 8:24 AM
    This is a very insightful statement "But the current survey by Pew finds that nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the bigger problem is that religion is being used by violent people to justify their actions" which unfortunately demonstrates how little Americans understand Islam.

    Islam has never been a religion of peace which Harvard professor Samuel Huntington demonstrated with data in his "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. The author of "Heretic" a former Muslim herself argues that it is foolish to believe that violent acts by Islamic extremists can be divorced from the doctrine that inspires them.

    Unfortunately President Obama, the White House and many of Pew's respondents are not aware that the violent acts of Islamic extremists are driven by political ideology imbedded in Islam itself.

    by: PermReader
    February 04, 2016 7:02 AM
    The surveys of Islam(just like the same of Putin) ignores the influence of fear of Muslim terror. People often fear of Muslims` retaliations for ,for instance, the ban to entrance America.Islam world as a whole , despite of regional conflicts, has the strategy of penetraition into the West by immigration and creating the Muslim infrastructures, and by investments into Western technology.These efforts are reinforced by the terror,sponsored by rich oil states.It`s no strange, that the terror helps this penetration,as the Western people are ready to socrifice something for their security.
    In Response

    by: meanbill from: USA
    February 04, 2016 8:37 AM
    [Picture it?] .. A good Muslim that will never become a terrorist, is the Muslim that that has been corrupted (by the western lifestyles) and joins and assimilates with western cultures, [where as], the bad Muslim that would fight and die as a martyr to defend his or her faith has not been corrupted and does not assimilate with the unbelievers, the unclean, the impure, the disbelievers and apostates in western cultures? .. Like other extremists of race and other cultures, they refuse to join and assimilate with the country or people, and take extremist measures to protect their religious origins or racial identities? .. Think about it?

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