NEWSWEEK Poll: Americans Are Mixed on U.S. Muslims
The latest NEWSWEEK Poll paints a complicated portrait of American
attitudes toward the Muslims in our midst
WEB EXCLUSIVE By Brian Braiker
NEW YORK, July 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Americans are largely accepting of the Muslims among them but remain worried about radicals inside the United States, according a new Newsweek Poll -- the first the magazine has conducted on attitudes toward Islamic Americans. Forty percent of those surveyed believe Muslims in the United States are as loyal to the U.S. as they are to Islam. (Thirty-two percent believe American Muslims are less loyal to the U.S.) But close to half (46 percent) of Americans say this country allows too many immigrants to come here from Muslim countries. A solid majority of Americans (63 percent) believe most Muslims in this country do not condone violence, and 40 percent tend to believe the Qur'an itself does not condone violence (28 percent feel it does). But 41 percent of Americans feel Muslim culture glorifies suicide. Most Americans surveyed (52 percent) view Muslims who live here as more peaceable than those living outside the United States. (Only 7 percent think Muslims here are less peaceable.) Still, there is a high level of concern among Americans about Islamic radicals inside the United States. A majority of Americans report being either "somewhat" (38 percent) or "very worried" (16 percent) about radicals within the American Muslim community. The concern over radicalism seems to translate into some support for FBI wiretapping of mosques. Roughly half (52 percent) of the poll's respondents favor this kind of surveillance. The same number rejects the notion that Muslim Americans are unfairly singled out or profiled by law enforcement, while more than a third (38 percent) do think Muslims are unfairly targeted. Yet if a 9/11-style terrorist attack were to occur again, 25 percent of Americans would support mass detentions of U.S. Muslims; a solid majority (60 percent) would oppose such detentions. There are between 3 million and 6 million Muslims living in the United States. More than a third of adult Americans (36 percent) say they personally know a Muslim living in the United States. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed are aware that most Muslims in this country are immigrants; 19 percent believe most are converts born on U.S. soil. Nearly two thirds (64 percent) say they would have no objection to a son or daughter dating a Muslim, and slightly more (69 percent) think Muslim students should be allowed to wear headscarves in class (23 percent think they should not). Americans are split on whether they would vote for a qualified Muslim for political office (45 percent would, and the same amount would not). Younger Americans tend to be more likely to vote for Muslim candidates. More than half (57 percent) of Americans between the ages of 18 and 39 say they would cast their ballot for a qualified Muslim-a number that dips to 44 percent for the 40-59 crowd and drops to 32 percent among Americans 60 and older. The NEWSWEEK Poll was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International on July 11-12. Telephone interviews were conducted with 1,003 adults, age 18 and older; the overall margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. The margin of error for questions asked only of Democrats and Democratic leaners is plus or minus 6 percentage points; for Republicans and GOP leaners, 7 percentage points. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19834255/site/newsweek/ - Poll Numbers
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