News / USA

Survey: US Religious Prejudice Strongest Against Muslims

TEXT SIZE - +

Two-thirds of Americans say they have little or no knowledge of Islam.  But a new survey finds that more than half of Americans have an unfavorable view of the faith, with nearly as many people expressing negative feelings toward its followers.

According to a new public opinion poll by the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, Americans are more than twice as likely to hold negative feelings toward Muslims as they are toward Christians, Jews or Buddhists.  The survey found that more than 40 percent of Americans say they are at least "a little" prejudice toward Muslims, with fewer than 20 percent reporting the same feelings toward the other three faiths.
  
Dalia Mogahed, Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, says the survey revealed a surprising trend.   

"I think the conventional wisdom is that people who are deeply religious - who practice their faith more - might be more intolerant of other people, of other faiths," said Dalia Mogahed. "And we found that not to be the case at all, but quite the opposite." 

People who reported attending a religious service of any type more than once a week were twice as likely to express no prejudice toward Muslims.

Although the majority of Americans polled said they have an unfavorable view of Islam, Mogahed says the poll highlights an improvement from previous surveys.  She also notes that other recent polls have found that Muslim majority nations have begun to express more positive feelings toward the United States.  Mogahed says that U.S. President Barack Obama's efforts to increase understanding between Americans and Muslims around the world have likely improved cross-cultural tolerance.

Ibrahim Hooper of the Center for American-Islamic Relations says his organization is also working to improve perceptions of Muslims by educating Americans about their faith.
 
"The Koran is the foundational document of Islam," said Ibrahim Hooper. "If people have it in their hands, can read it for themselves, they're going to have less misinformation about Islam and Muslims."

Hooper says his group is working on a campaign to distribute 100,000 copies of the holy Koran to local, state and national U.S. leaders to increase their knowledge of Islam and, he hopes, to decrease negative views of the religion. 
 

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 266 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid