More Americans are expressing unfavorable views about Islam. A recent public opinion poll shows 25 percent of Americans now say they personally are prejudiced against Muslims. And a majority of Americans think Muslims are more prone to resort to violence.
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 46 percent of Americans have a negative view of Islam. That is seven percentage points higher than during the months right after the terrorist attacks of September 2001. . .
Recent public comments from some high-profile evangelists are also seen as inflammatory. The Reverend Franklin Graham called Islam, in his words, “a very wicked religion”, and the Reverend Pat Robertson said, in his words, “Islam is a religion of violence.”
Media coverage of terrorism, and the violence in Iraq, may also contribute to hostility to Muslims.
Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, says stereotyping of Muslims by the U.S. media has had a negative effect.
“I think that it is true that the statements, the kind of coverage that the American audience has been receiving about Muslims and Islam leads one to just one conclusion: that Islam is bad and Muslims are violent. The media has failed to capture the reality of the Muslim world and only focused on the actions of the few.”