Figuring Faith | Fear, Fairness and Fox News: Three forces shaping how we think about American Muslims
This week over at the Washington Post’s On Faith Panelists’ blog, Dr. Robert P. Jones looks at the three overarching themes we found in this month’s PRRI/RNS Religion News Poll. Here’s an excerpt:
In a few weeks, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) will hold controversial Congressional hearings to investigate alleged extremism in American Muslim communities. Our recent PRRI/RNS Religion News Poll, conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service, reveals three powerful forces shaping how the public thinks about these hearings and American Muslims: fear, fairness and Fox News.
First, the survey clearly shows Americans wrestling with fears about Islam and the American Muslim community. When Americans are initially asked about the upcoming hearings to investigate alleged extremism in American Muslim community, a majority (56 percent) say they are a good idea. And a plurality (46 percent) of the public say American Muslims have not done enough to combat extremism in their own communities.
These fears run strongly along partisan and religious lines. Seven-in-10 (71 percent) Republicans say the hearings are a good idea, compared to only 45 percent of Democrats. Similarly, 7-in-10 white evangelical Protestants say the hearings are a good idea, compared to only about half of white mainline Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated.
Find the full post here.