Poll Finds Views of Islam Sharply Divided

Contact: Cindy L. Jobbins, 215.575.4812, Burke Olsen, 202.955.5078


Washington, D.C. - 09/10/2004 - Roughly four-in-ten Americans (39%) say they have a favorable impression of Islam, while about as many (37%) say they have an unfavorable view. The balance of opinion has not changed substantially in the past year (39% favorable in July 2003). But there are significant differences of opinion among religious groups, with white Evangelical Protestants having a much more negative view of Islam than white Catholics, Mainline Protestants or secular Americans. In a new poll, conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Americans were asked if Islam is more likely to encourage violence; how many Muslims are anti-American; and whether the Islamic religion is more likely to encourage violence among its believers.

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