Washington, March 9 (IANS) — The survey, the Washington Post report said, comes at a time of increasing tension. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq show little sign of ending, and members of Congress are seeking to block the Bush administration’s attempt to hire an Arab company to manage operations at six of the nation’s ports.
Also, Americans are reading news of deadly protests by Muslims worldwide over caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.
Some analysts said Americans’ attitudes about Islam are fuelled in part by political statements and media reports that focus almost solely on the actions of Muslim extremists, according to the report.
The poll results show that the proportion of Americans who believe that Islam helps to stoke violence against non-Muslims has more than doubled since the attacks, from 14 percent in January 2002 to 33 percent today.
The survey also found that one in three Americans have heard prejudiced comments about Muslims lately. Slightly more, 43 percent respondents, reported having heard negative remarks about Arabs.
One in four Americans admitted to harbouring prejudice toward Muslims, the same proportion that expressed some personal bias against Arabs.
Though the two groups are often linked in popular discourse, most of the world’s Muslims are not of Arab descent, the report pointed out. It cited Indonesia, a country with the largest Muslim population, as an example.
A total of 1,000 randomly selected Americans were interviewed between March 2 and 5 for this poll. The margin of sampling error for the overall results is plus or minus three percentage points, the report said.
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