Concerns on terrorism and ISIS are up, but many don’t believe all Muslims should be given a hard time.

Terrorism, particularly the rise and growth of Islamic State (ISIS) is now considered one of the top concerns for Americans. But despite this fact, President Obama and the U.S. Government’s response to terrorism is seen to be at its worst after the 9/11 attacks.

This has been the conclusion of the recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center to 1,500 adults across America. Among the points surveyed include the perception of Islam’s relationship to violence, concerns on terrorism and ISIS in the U.S. and abroad, public opinion on the military action against ISIS and the approval rating of the government’s response to such threats.

Islam and violence

The Islam religion is often linked with violence and terrorism even if much of these claims have no basis. In the United States, opinion on this is divided. 46% of Americans see Islam as a religion that is more likely to encourage violence. This year’s number has actually improved from 2014’s negative perception of 50%. On the other hand, 45% of Americans believe that violence is less likely to be related to Islam.

When it comes to the idea of increased checks to American Muslims simply because of their religion, the majority of Americans don’t approve it. 61% of the respondents say that greater scrutiny is not necessary and only 32% say they conform to the idea.

Concerns on terrorism, ISIS and extremism in the U.S.

Compared to last year’s figure, terrorism jumped into first place as the most important problem facing the U.S. Nearly a third of Americans agree that terrorism is the number one problem having 18% share, far from the next concerns on Economy (9% share), Defense or National security (8%), Immigration (7%), Unemployment (7%) and others.

The survey also ranked the different external threats to the U.S. 83% of the surveyed individuals believe that ISIS is the number one threat, Iran’s nuclear program ranks second at 62%, North Korea at 59%, China as a global power at 49%, Israel-Palestine conflict at 43% and Russian at 42%.

At home, Americans no longer feel secure with 62% saying that they are concerned with global extremism and 42% saying they are concerned with ISIS spreading its influence in the country.

Government’s response to terrorism

From the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001, the government received its worst approval rating this year when it comes to its response on terrorism. Only 46% said that they are satisfied with the government efforts against terrorism while a larger 52% says that the government is not doing enough.

For the political parties, the Democrats favor the government more at 64% positive rating while only 27% of Republicans say that the government is doing at least fairly well.

Views on the military campaign and plans to use ground troops

The majority of Americans continue to support the U.S.-led coalition that aims to defeat ISIS and other Islamist groups. Both the Republicans and Democrats have concurring opinion at 69% and 67% respectively.

When it comes to the results of the ongoing military campaign against ISIS, 58% of Americans say that the outcomes are not too well. 66% of the respondents think that the U.S.-led coalition will succeed while only 27% think that such efforts shall fail.

There’s currently a proposal to send ground troops to combat ISIS in Syria and Iraq. 47% approved this idea and the same number has opposed it. Republicans are on the affirmative side at 72% approval rate while Democrats only have 33% in favor of the idea.

On President Obama’s rating in exercising his job and in dealing with terrorism

Finally, the survey checked President Obama’s grade for his job and in dealing with terrorism. 46% of the surveyed individuals approved the president’s performance while 49% provided a negative response. Obama’s approval rating on key issues is also on the low side. Only 45% approved his efforts in terms of climate change, 44% for race relations, 43% for economic performance, 37% for terrorism and another 37% for immigration. Additionally, majority of the respondents (58%) cite that Obama’s foreign policy is not tough enough.


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