Majority of Americans Support
DC: A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy
group has released the results of a survey, called "The
War in Lebanon and American Public Opinion," showing
that a majority of Americans support an immediate ceasefire
in the Middle East.
The random telephone survey, commissioned by the Washington-based
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), asked more than
1,000 Americans about their views on the US policy in the
Middle East and whether the United States should call for
an immediate ceasefire.
CAIR's survey was conducted July 28 to August 2 by International
Communications Research, a Pennsylvania-based polling and
market research firm. Poll results have a margin of error
of +/-3 percent.
Highlights of the survey:
* Almost 54 percent of respondents support an immediate Middle
East cease fire.
* Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of those surveyed favor American
neutrality or disengagement from the Middle East conflict.
* 37 percent of respondents believe US policy in the Middle
East is balanced, favoring neither side.
* 36 percent believe the US is biased in favor of Israel.
* Only 2 percent believe the US favors the Palestinians and
* 35 percent believe media coverage of the conflict is "balanced
and fair to all sides."
* 21 percent said media coverage favors Israel.
* 15 percent said it favors the Palestinians and Lebanese.
At a news conference, CAIR also announced the launch of an
online petition drive, called "Not in America's Name,"
urging elected officials to support an immediate ceasefire
in the Middle East. SEE: http://www.notinamericasname.org/
The petition website also features educational materials about
the conflict and suggests actions individuals can take, such
as contacting elected officials and organizing town hall meetings,
to help bring the violence to an end.
"The Bush administration's Mideast policy should reflect
the opinion of the majority of Americans, not the narrow political
agenda put forward by special interest groups," said
CAIR Board Chairman Parvez Ahmed.
Ahmed said a small but growing number of elected officials
are speaking out in favor of a cease-fire. Rep. Dennis Kucinich
(D-OH) drafted a resolution urging President Bush to demand
an immediate end to Mideast violence.
SEE: Kucinich Calls For Middle East Cease-Fire
Other members of Congress supporting a cease-fire include
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Representatives David Price (D-NC),
Lois Capps (D-CA), James Leach (R-IA), and Bob Filner (D-CA).
CAIR has 32 offices, chapters and affiliates nationwide and
in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of
Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower
American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice
and mutual understanding.