In a poll released Tuesday it was suggested that U.S. public opinion concerning Arabs and people of the Muslim faith has seen a sharp decline over the past year.
According to the poll, negative feelings towards Islam is predominant mainly among Republicans and senior citizens. Only 27 percent of Americans have favorable opinions of Muslim people, a drop of 8 percent from 2010.
The Zogby poll, commissioned by the non-profit Arab American Institute, found that 42 percent of respondents believe an American Muslim’s religion would influence his or her decision making in an important government job. The same percentage believes it is justified for law enforcement to profile Arab Americans or American Muslims.
President of the Zogby poll, Jim Zogby, said to reporters:
“For me, the biggest concern in the poll is not just that people don’t like us, but what not liking us translates to, affect(ing) our ability to function as communities here.”
The poll also threw up obvious partisan, racial and generational divides. For example, 59 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of people 65 or older agree with profiling Arab Americans or Arab Muslims, compared with 32 percent of Democrats and the 18-29 age group.
Zogby pointed out that many people confuse Arab and Muslim people, noting that not all Muslims are Arabs and not all Arabs are Muslim. In fact, he said, in America today less than a third of Muslims are actually Arab.
There are around 3.5 million Americans of Arab descent, of which 27 percent are Lebanese, but there are also many of Egyptian, Syrian and Somali descent.
The poll questioned 1,110 voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Attitudes towards Muslims and Arabs in America may also have been influenced over recent years by the many brutal terror attacks carried out by Muslims in the name of Allah, including the abduction of schoolgirls in Nigeria by Boko Haram. and the current Hamas war being waged against Israel.
To this can be added the brutality of the civil war in Syria, the rise of ISIS, and its policy of be-headings and crucifixions, Al-Shabab in Somalia and Kenya bombing shopping malls, and the list goes on to around 50 Islamic based terror entities according to the UK Government.
The full list of “Proscribed Terror Organizations” is here. After reading it one might feel that it’s a miracle that 27 percent of Americans still manage to retain positive feelings towards Islam.