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Just 17% Believe American Muslims Are Treated Unfairly

Friday, March 11, 2011

Most voters don’t believe their fellow citizens are unfair to Muslim Americans. They also think Muslims in this country should be louder in their criticism of potential domestic terrorist attacks.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 17% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that most Muslims in America are treated unfairly because of their religion and ethnicity. Sixty-three percent (63%) disagree and say they are not treated unfairly while 20% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

A plurality (49%) of liberal voters, however,  says there is bias against Muslim Americans. Eighty-one percent (81%) of conservatives and 57% of moderates disagree. 

But only 10% of all voters think American Muslims are speaking out enough against potential terrorist attacks in the United States. Fifty-seven percent (57%) disagree and say they are not speaking out enough. One-in-three voters (34%) are not sure.

Those figures reflect a slightly more pessimistic assessment than was found in September 2009. At that time, 15% believed that Muslims in this country were speaking out and 46% said they were not. 

The House Committee on Homeland Security began hearings yesterday about the potential danger of domestic Islamic terrorism, and a sizable number of voters think the government is not paying enough attention to this possible threat.  Most voters still worry, too, about homegrown terrorist attacks.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on March 8-9, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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