Despite the huge amount of protest that always seems to make the news when it comes to new Islamic centers like the Park51 scandal or the Tennessee mosque fight, new polling suggests that most people are just fine with the idea of a mosque in their neighborhood.
As two congressional panels turn their attention to the role of Muslims in American life, most Americans say they would be “okay” having a mosque in their community, a poll released Thursday says.
Sixty-nine percent of Americans surveyed for a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll said they would not oppose having a mosque near where they live or work, while 28 percent said they would oppose one.
Positive opinions of American Muslims, though, are less common. Of those surveyed, 46 percent said they have a positive view of American Muslims, while 26 percent said they have an unfavorable view of them. In 2002, just before the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, 39 percent of Americans said they had a favorable view of American Muslims.
Favorable views may be less common than people who are ok with having a mosque in the neighborhood, but as the poll shows, the favorables have gone up drastically since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
And considering how ramped up the anti-Muslim rhetoric in politics has become in the last two years, that only 26 percent of respondents said they had a negative view of Muslims is frankly pretty impressive.