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Poll: U.S. Split on Whether
Islam Promotes Violence
Most Americans continue to know little about Islam, and people in the United States remain somewhat divided in their views of the religion, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center.
The poll found that favorable opinions of Islam have declined since 2005, and a slight majority of Americans do not want to see a mosque built near the World Trade Center site in New York. Pew said 51 percent of respondents objected to the mosque and 34 percent supported it.
Meanwhile, 62 percent said they believe Muslims should have the same rights as other religious groups to build places of worship, and 25 percent said local communities should be able to block mosques if they don't want them.
Eighty-five percent of respondents said they either don't know much about Islam or know nothing at all, and just 9 percent said they know a great deal. Pew found that 41 percent said they actually know someone who is Muslim. Knowledge of Islam and acquaintance with Muslims rose if respondents were college graduates or were younger.
Among the 1,003 adults Pew polled in August, 30 percent said they have a favorable view of Islam while 38 percent said they have an unfavorable view and 32 percent offered no opinion. By contrast, in 2005 41 percent expressed a favorable view and 36 percent were unfavorable toward Islam.
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