Views of Islam in U.S. Remain Sharply Divided, Finds New Pew Poll

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New Pew public opinion poll reports how Americans view Islam and Muslims. Significant differences of opinions occur among various religious groups.

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, finds a new poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

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.

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.

The results of the poll, released Thursday, September 09, 2004, can be found online at http://pewforum.org/publications/surveys/islam.pdf

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