Most Back Outreach to Muslim Nations, but Suspicion and Unfamiliarity
By Gary Langer, ABC News, 4/5/09

With President Obama in Turkey for a two-day visit, an ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that Americans overwhelmingly support U.S. outreach to Muslim nations -- but many also express continued suspicion of the world's second-largest religion.

Americans by 48-41 percent hold an unfavorable opinion of Islam -- its highest unfavorable rating in ABC/Post polls since 2001. And 29 percent express the belief that mainstream Islam encourages violence against non-Muslims -- down slightly from its peak, but double what it was early in 2002.

Click here for PDF with charts and questions.

Unfamiliarity is a central factor in these views. Fifty-five percent of Americans concede that they lack a good basic understanding of Islam; about as many, 53 percent, don't personally know a Muslim. People who profess an understanding of Islam, or know a Muslim, have much more positive views of the religion. (More)

 

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