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.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    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?

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora