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YouGov | Most Americans dislike Islam
A majority say that they view Islam unfavorably, and even Democrats are almost twice as likely to view Islam negatively than positively
One week ago the United States saw the deadliest terrorist attack it has seen since 9/11, after 14 people were killed in San Bernadino by Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik. In the wake of the attack Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took his most aggressively anti-Muslim stance so far by calling for Muslims to be barred from entry into the United States. Though the United States has millions of Muslims, anti-Muslim sentiment has become increasingly common in public discourse.
YouGov/HuffPost’s latest research shows that most Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Islam. 58% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Islam, and just over a third (35%) say that they have a ‘very unfavorable’ opinion of the religion. Only 17% of Americans view it positively. Democrats (27%) are the most likely to have a favorable opinion of Islam, but even they tend to say that they view Islam negatively. Among independents (58%) and Republicans (75%) most people have a negative view of Islam.
Under-30s (45%) are the least likely to have unfavorable opinions of Islam, but 65% of over-65s view Islam unfavorably.
Nevertheless, most Americans admit that they don’t understand Islam particularly well. Only 13% say that they understand Islam ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ well, while 52% say that they understand it ‘not well at all’ or ‘not too well’. Americans are divided on whether or not they would be interested in learning more about Islam, with 36% saying that they would and 45% saying that they would not. Most people with positive views of Islam (69%) say that they would want to learn more, while most who have a negative view (59%) say that they would not want to learn more.