September 9, 2004
The Pew Forum

Views of Islam Remain Sharply Divided

by Burke Olsen

Washington, DC -- Roughly four-in-ten Americans (39%) say they have a favorable impression of Islam, while about as many (37%) say they have an unfavorable view. The balance of opinion has not changed substantially in the past year (39% favorable in July 2003). But there are significant differences of opinion among religious groups, with white Evangelical Protestants having a much more negative view of Islam than white Catholics, Mainline Protestants or secular Americans.

In a new poll, conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Americans were asked if Islam is more likely to encourage violence; how many Muslims are anti-American; and whether the Islamic religion is more likely to encourage violence among its believers.

The results of the poll, released Thursday, September 09, 2004, can be found online at


Mowahid H. Shah, "The New Cold War With Islam," The Christian Science Monitor, July 30, 1990

Enver Masud, "The Truth About Islam," The Wisdom Fund, 1995

Enver Masud, "Polls As Predictable As Hitler's Willing Executioners," The Wisdom Fund, December 18, 1998

Enver Masud, "The War on Islam," Madrasah Books (May 1, 2003)

Edward Said, "A Window on the World," The Guardian, August 2, 2003

[The world is dividing into two hostile camps: Islam and "us". That is the unerring message from western governments, press, radio and television. For Islam, read terrorists. It is reminiscent of the cold war when the world was divided between "Reds" and us, and even a strategy of annihilation was permissible in our defence. We now know, or we ought to know, that so much of that was a charade; released official files make clear the Soviet threat was for public consumption only.--John Pilger, "John Pilger hears Blair echo Mussolini," New Statesman, September 20, 2004]

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