Poll: Two-Thirds Against NY Islamic Center, But What are They Afraid of?
September 9, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)— The right-wing’s anti-Muslim, fearmongering campaign appears to have worked. Most Americans oppose the building of the proposed Park51, Cordoba House center in Lower Manhattan, based on its location, a new poll finds. A Washington Post-ABC News poll found that nearly two-thirds of those polled are against the construction of an Islamic center two-blocks away from Ground Zero. At the same time, the number of Americans holding negative views of Islam has increased.
The poll found that a whopping 82 percent of Americans are against the building of the Cordoba House, basing their negative view on the center’s location. But 14 percent would oppose a Muslim community center anywhere in the country.
The unfavorable views towards Islam are also on the rise. Nearly half of all Americans hold negative views of Islam. Broken down by party affiliation, more Republicans harbor a dislike of Islam than Democrats, according to poll results.
“Overall, 83 percent of Republicans oppose the Muslim center, as do 65 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats. Among Republicans, generally negative views have spiked higher: 67 percent of those who identify as Republican say they have unfavorable views of Islam, up from 42 percent in the months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”
But here is where the poll really gets interesting, by revealing our nation’s schizophrenia on the issue of the Muslim religion. Although a majority of Americans believe Islam is a religion of peace, they still don’t want an Islamic community center built in Lower Manhattan.
Why wouldn’t Americans want a congregation of peaceful Muslim worshipers in a Lower Manhattan neighborhood, two-blocks away from Ground Zero in an abandoned Burlington Coat Factory, surrounded by strip joints and other diverse big city venues?
The answer? Fear. Many Americans lack an understanding of Islam and are susceptible to anti-Muslim fearmongering campaigns waged by Fox News and the right-wing, during an election season. Combine that with a bad economy, with Americans looking for a convenient scapegoat and you have a recipe for blind religious hate and bigotry.
The complete poll results can be found here.