Nearly Half of Americans Have Negative View of Islam

Catching up on yesterday’s news: A story in the Washington Post, “Negative Perception Of Islam Increasing,” provides data about Americans’ views toward the so-called “religion of peace.”

So just how do Americans feel? The news isn’t good for Muslims, according to the poll:

As the war in Iraq grinds into its fourth year, a growing proportion of Americans are expressing unfavorable views of Islam, and a majority now say that Muslims are disproportionately prone to violence, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The poll found that nearly half of Americans — 46 percent — have a negative view of Islam, seven percentage points higher than in the tense months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, when Muslims were often targeted for violence.

Contributing to the negative perception: the violence that erupted following the flap over the Muhammad cartoons.

Conservative and liberal experts said Americans’ attitudes about Islam are fueled in part by political statements and media reports that focus almost solely on the actions of Muslim extremists.

According to the poll, the proportion of Americans who believe that Islam helps to stoke violence against non-Muslims has more than doubled since the attacks, from 14 percent in January 2002 to 33 percent today.

I can’t say I’m very surprised by the Post’s poll results. But what I’d like to know is how you feel. That’s why I decided to ask you about your feeling about Islam. Click here to vote.