(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/26/05) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomed the results of a new survey showing that the public’s concerns over recent terror bombings do not translate into less favorable opinions of either American Muslims or Islam. The nationwide survey of 2,000 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life also indicates that the number of Americans who believe Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence fell significantly to 36 percent from 44 percent two years ago. SEE: http://pewforum.org/docs/index.php?DocID=89 According to the survey, which was conducted between the day of the first terrorist attacks in London and July 17, a majority of Americans (55 percent) say they have a favorable opinion of American Muslims. That figure is significantly higher than the 45 percent holding favorable views in March 2001, prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. “The results of this survey may be an indication that, while more work needs to be done, the American Muslim community’s anti-terror message is finally being heard,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
“Ordinary Americans seem to understand that Islam, like Christianity, should not be defined by the acts of a tiny minority of extremists.” He said that Muslims are increasingly becoming part of the fabric of American society, despite the rise in Islamophobic rhetoric. Awad added that CAIR recently released a nationwide television public service announcement (PSA), called “Not in the Name of Islam,” designed to highlight the Muslim community’s condemnation of terrorism and rejection of those who carry out terror attacks. Almost two million people have already viewed the PSA. (To view the PSA online, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/video/psa.ram ) CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters 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. To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to: http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=About
NOTE: CAIR offers an e-mail list designed to be a journalist’s window to the American Muslim community. Subscribers to the list, called ISLAM-INFONET, receive news releases and other materials dealing with American Muslim positions on issues of importance to our society.
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