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March 24th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

CNN Poll: Most Americans 'OK' with a mosque in their community

Editor's Note: CNN's Soledad O'Brien chronicles the dramatic fight over the construction of a mosque in the heart of the Bible belt. Soledad O'Brien Reports "Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door", airing at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. E.T. April 2 on CNN.

By Debra Goldschmidt, CNN

Would you be "OK" with a mosque in your community?

According to a new national poll, most Americans say yes, they would.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday found that 69%of Americans would be "OK" with a mosque in their area while 28% would not.

But there are big differences depending on where you live. Half of rural Southerners say they disapprove of a mosque in their neighborhood, while 42 % say they would be "OK" with it.

That rises to roughly three-quarters among those who live in cities and suburbs.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, anti-mosque activity across the country, ranging from vandalism to lawsuits, has occurred in 21 states over the past five years.

Positive views of Muslim Americans are on the rise since 2002, according to the new poll, which found 46% of all Americans have a favorable view of American Muslims today, and 26% say they have an unfavorable view.

"Overall, positive views of American Muslims have risen since 2002, when memories of 9/11 were still fresh in most Americans' minds," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In 2002, as the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approached, only 39 percent of all Americans said they had a favorable view of Muslims."

Americans in the South and rural communities are far less likely to have a favorable view of American Muslims, with just 32% saying they hold such views.

Thirty seven percent of rural Southerners say they don't know enough to have an opinion.

When it comes to attitudes towards the Muslim faith itself, however, American opinions haven't changed much.

"In 2002, 28 percent of all Americans had a favorable view of Islam and 33 percent feel that way today," Holland says.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey was conducted March 11-13, with 1,023 people questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Houses of worship • Islam • Mosque • Polls

soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. Elias

    America will become the next Nazis and maybe event make a holocaust
    America should just denounce the racism and things will be better

    April 12, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  2. Vince A

    STRAIGHT from the HORSES mouth !!!

    http://www.islampolicy.com/2011/04/cnn-unwelcome-muslims-next-door.html

    April 8, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Tailynn

      That hits the target peerflcty. Thanks!

      January 27, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • jkwiqxijdqu

      6XVNj0 ftaqaiqhlvvk

      January 28, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • qlpvasggcqt

      aXRyCV ypzctzdpinap

      January 30, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  3. A

    people are forgetting what christians are and it depresses me God forgiving he gave his only son's life to save people God is about forgive right who are us to tell other people who or who not to worship. jesue didn't chase people that did not believe in him why not let then build if God forgive us why can't we for a group of people that don't do 911 . are you people that call your self christans forgetting about God and Jesue believes . sounds to like you are

    April 3, 2011 at 12:56 am |
  4. wawan

    you do not realize that the economy held by the Islamic world really is?

    why do I say so? you try to think, the core of the industry is petroleum. whereas what percentage of petroleum produced from Muslim lands?

    but Islam is so good, so do not want playing as good-delicious world economy.

    April 2, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  5. tony

    religious intolerance is completely unAmerican.

    Freedom of religion is one of the most important founding principles of our great nation.

    Denying people the right to worship freely is a bigger treat to American ideals and our way of life than Muslims will ever be.

    March 31, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  6. jmadey

    DEAR WYNSAR,
    THE REASON YOU PROBABLY DON'T SEE DOGS IN THE STREETS OF MUSLIM COUNTRIES IS VERY SIMPLE. DOGS ARE NOT TRADED AS A MEANS OF COMMODITY BY GREEDY BREEDERS WHO PREY ON THE EMOTIONS OF 4 YEAR OLD GIRLS WHO WANT SOMETHING TO LOVE, LIKE A PET. BUT SINCE YOU ARE AN ANIMAL LOVER REST ASSURED ISLAM PROHIBITS THE KILLING TORTURE AND ABUSE OF EVERY CREATURE ON EARTH.

    March 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
  7. Marty L.

    What ever happened to the good old fashion town meeting in Murfreesboro? Invite the Imam, the local rabbi, Catholic priest, Protestant minister and Soledad O' Brien. Talk things out instead of putting Islam on trial in a kangaroo court. And please stop already with the" you don't understand Islam" defense, it's old. It's been close to 1500 years since the last Reformation and Murfreesboro is as good a place as any to start the next.....and do it soon. It's KILLING US !!!

    March 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Marty L.

      Correction, it's 500 years,,,,But it feels like 1500.

      March 29, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
  8. Lisa

    ISLAM DOES NOT BELONG IN AMERICA. AND NO, I DO NOT SUPPORT A MOSQUE IN MY NEIGHBOURHOOD. I AM FROM THE MIDDLE EAST AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT THE MUSLIM WAY OF LIFE DOES NOT FIT IN TO AMERICA. I HAVE FOUND MANY WEB SITES WHERE LEADERS OF MOSQUES TELL THEIR PEOPLE (IN ARABIC) TO SPREAD ALL AROUND THE WORLD AND HAVE MANY CHILDREN SO ONE DAY THEY CAN TAKE CONTROL. IT IS A CULT, NOT A RELIGION. IN TIME AMERICA WILL REGRET EVER LETTING SO MANY MUSLIMS IN TO THE COUNTRY. THEY WILL ONLY DO DAMAGE TO A FREE COUNTRY.

    March 29, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • jmadey

      WEAR YOUR BIGOTRY WITH PRIDE. SPEAK YOUR IGNORANCE TO GAIN THE SUPPORT OF THE MORE IGNORANT. AS A NATIVE AMERICAN I TELL YOU LISA "TAKE YOUR *** BACK TO WHEREVER YOU CAME FROM" OH AND TAKE ALL THOSE JESUS FREAKS WITH YOU TOO.

      March 29, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • wawan

      Islam is so peaceful. Islamic regulations on life is very complete, efficient, and balanced.

      please find a rule in Islam that is not fair according to you and to tell me. and show the rules made ​​by humans (which does not exist in Islam) that has no weaknesses.

      Thank you.

      April 2, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Vernon

      Lisa, you are absolutely right. I have spent considerable amounts of time studying Islam. All one has to do is look at where Muslims are in the world today and see what's going on. The proof is in the pudding.

      November 15, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  9. wynsar

    I am a progressive democrat and an animal lover.....I do not support a religion in my neighborhood that believes dogs are dirty and to be destroyed....notice in all the news reports from Muslim countries there are NO DOGS on the streets.....they have all been killed

    March 29, 2011 at 1:00 am |
    • happy

      Who told you that muslims believe in dogs to be destryed???? FUNNY lol

      March 30, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • wawan

      Islam does forbid us to eat dogs. touch the dog. especially saliva. Islam also prohibits dogs to be maintained within the home environment. but Islam also teaches to train a dog as an animal hunter.

      so, Islam also teaches caring for dogs.

      April 2, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • isaac

      out of all the thing to be mad about at muslims you chose dogs lol

      April 2, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Vernon

      Muslims do not travel with dogs, this is why Obama had his dog flown in a separate jet on his vacation at the expense of the tax payers.

      November 15, 2011 at 11:28 am |
  10. bonquisha

    no .

    March 28, 2011 at 9:21 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.