Poll Shows Americans' Unfamiliarity with and Negative Views of Islam

October 29, 2002

Source: Beliefnet.com


On October 29, 2002, Beliefnet.com reported that in the wake of September 11, 2001, "a surprising new ABCNews/Beliefnet poll shows that after starting out tolerant, public opinion has turned sharply against Islam... The percentage of Americans having an unfavorable view of Islam has jumped from 24% in January 2002 to 33% now... Americans who say that Islam 'doesn't teach respect for other faiths' rose from 22% to 35%... Seventy-three percent of Americans do not feel they have a good basic understanding of its beliefs and tenets, and that, too, has risen, from 61 percent last winter." The article continues by examining possible reasons for this shift.