A new poll says most Americans do not fear Muslims.
A poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos reveals that 51 percent of United States residents regard Muslims living in America the same way they do any other community. This is important as the poll was conducted a few days after the San Bernardino attacks where two radicalized Muslims killed 14 individuals in California. Only 14.6 percent of total respondents showed alarm.
The way Americans should behave with Muslims, including both U.S. residents and those who want to enter the country under the refugee quota has become a much argued topic. The topic has achieved divisive undertones after ISIS slaughtered 130 people in Paris. It did not help matters when a Muslim couple fatally shot 14 individuals and hospitalized 21 others in San Bernardino, California.
According to Amaney Jamal, a politics professor at Princeton, if terrorism was conceptualized to make a big gap between Westerners and Muslims, it is unfortunately succeeding. “The threat of terror is going to be fought by Muslims and non-Muslims together,” he said. He added that these gaps should be closed and people should work together without being afraid.
Republicans are more in favor (64 percent) compared to Democrats (43 percent) in supporting the idea that mosques should be closely monitored. The parties also showed divergence when it came to closing mosques with ties to suspected extremists. Republicans voted 69 percent and Democrats 48 percent on this issue.
Donald Trump attracted criticism when he announced that he is open to closing mosques where the extremists practiced. The presidential hopeful also suggested that the names of all Muslims should be included in a database.
The Ipsos poll was conducted for Reuters and held over two days, December 3 and December 4. 1,056 responses were received from American residents over the age of 18. The sample included 159 Independents, 388 Republicans and 417 Democrats.
However, there was disagreement on whether American citizens felt American Muslims were doing enough to report potential extremists, with only 23% saying they think risks are being reported.
A spokesperson for the Center for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says “We are seeing I think a more toxic anti-Muslim environment or atmosphere than we have seen since 9/11,” and cites that the situation may be fueled by statements Trump and Ben Carson have been making against Muslims in their campaigns.