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U.S. Muslims happy with their country despite pressure, study finds
More than half of American Muslims say it’s harder to be a Muslim in America since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
August 30th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

U.S. Muslims happy with their country despite pressure, study finds

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

People look at Zeinab Chami a little warily sometimes, she says, especially when she travels outside big cities.

She started wearing a headscarf when she was in her early 20s, making herself "a visible Muslim."

That "can really be an emotional strain," she says.

Life is getting harder for American Muslims, she says, given the media's portrayal of Muslims, the false perception that President Barack Obama is Muslim, and the rise of the tea party, whose most vocal leaders, according to Chami, "spew vitriol against anyone perceived to be 'foreign.'"

And yet, she says, American Muslims are "lucky."

"I have Muslim friends who are from every ethnic background. It's easier to get to the true spirit, the true practice of Islam," in the United States. It's easier for a Muslim woman to get a postgraduate education in America, and the American sense of civic-mindedness jibes with Muslim teaching, she says.

"When people see a clash of civilizations, they are wrong," she says.

Chami - a 27-year-old educator working with a nonprofit to improve teens' math and reading skills in Michigan - is typical of many American Muslims, a new survey suggests.

Many American Muslims feel singled out by government anti-terror policies; significant minorities have been called names or had their mosques attacked; and most say it's harder to be a Muslim in the United States now than it was before September 11, 2001.

And yet the vast majority say their communities are very good places to live, that Americans are not hostile toward Muslims, and that American Muslims have a better quality of life than Muslims elsewhere, the survey of more than 1,000 American Muslims has found.

Support for Islamic extremism is not rising among Muslim Americans, who are much less likely to support terrorism than Muslims in many other countries, according to the study by the Pew Research Center in Washington.

Seven out of ten American Muslims have very unfavorable views of al Qaeda, while only 5% have favorable or somewhat favorable views.

Chami puts it bluntly: "Everybody hates al Qaeda - hates, hates, hates. There is real hatred because of the atrocious attacks and because the blowback on the community affecting us."

The lack of support for extremism "makes these perceptions about Muslims in America kind of ironic," Chami says ruefully.

But Rep. Pete King, R-New York, who has been chairing high-profile congressional hearings about the radicalization of U.S. Muslims, argued that the Pew study "was not as positive as it might seem."

"Seventy percent of American Muslims are opposed to al Qaeda. We are at war with al Qaeda. One hundred percent should be opposed to al Qaeda," he said.

He's not worried about the radicalization of the community as a whole, he said: "I've always said the majority of Muslims are good Americans. My concern is the small number of Muslims who can be radicalized."

"Al Qaeda is attempting to recruit, and we can't hide from it. If they can recruit 15 or 20 or 30 people, that's what we're talking about. There were 19 hijackers on September 11," he said.

And while he acknowledges that the percentage of American Muslims who trust the government's anti-terror efforts is rising, he says it's still not high enough.

"Only 43% think that government anti-terrorist efforts are sincere. If 57% don't think they're sincere, then when the FBI comes into their communities, they're not going to cooperate with those efforts. I think that's worrying," he said.

The survey shows that American Muslims are much less likely to support terrorism than their co-religionists in the Middle East.

Four out of five say suicide bombing and other violence against civilians is never justified. That's a significantly higher percentage than Muslims in five Middle Eastern countries and territories surveyed by the Pew Global Attitudes Project earlier this year.

And although six out of 10 express some worry about the possible rise of Islamic extremism in the United States, only two out of 10 believe there is much support for extremism today.

Just under half of American Muslims say U.S. Muslim leaders have not spoken out enough against extremism, while one in three say they have.

The survey came against the background of a number of controversies touching the American Muslim community, ranging from King's hearings to the debate over plans to build an Islamic community center in lower Manhattan.

Even so, American Muslims have positive views of the United States now, and they are getting more favorable over time, the survey found.

American Muslims are far more likely to believe that the United States is sincere in its efforts to fight terrorism now than they were four years ago, the study says.

Just under half of them say American efforts are sincere, many more than believed it in 2007, when George W. Bush was president.

The rising level of trust comes even though half of all American Muslims believe that they're being singled out for increased surveillance and monitoring, the study says.

The feeling that it's harder to be a Muslim in America since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks has held steady since 2007, with just over half expressing the view in each survey.

About one out of five Muslim Americans say they've been called offensive names in the past year, and about the same number say they've been singled out by airport security.

And many feel that their own leaders are not doing enough to fight Islamic extremism, according to the study, a joint project of the Pew Research Center for People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

The researchers spoke to 1,033 Muslim Americans between April 14 and July 22, doing telephone interviews in English, Arabic, Urdu and Farsi.

Asked whether they consider themselves Muslims or Americans first, half of the respondents said Muslim, a quarter said American, and the rest either said both equally or that they didn't know.

American Christians, by way of comparison, split right down the middle. Just under half say American, just under half say Christian, and less than one in ten chooses either both or "don't know."

Zeinab Chami, the educator, chose a different answer.

"I would say I consider myself a human first, and I live my life according to that," she said. "We're all the human family, and that happens to be a very Islamic point of view. My loyalty is to God, then humanity. Not God, then country - God, then humanity."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Islam • Polls • United States

soundoff (915 Responses)
  1. Reality

    For those who are reading challenged:

    SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
    THERE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR

    SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
    THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY

    SAVING 15.5 MILLION ORTHODOX FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
    ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

    Added details upon request.
    ------------------------------------–

    August 30, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • my6cents

      And your infinite wisdom is backed up by what?

      August 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Vlad

      Reality – lol
      my6cents – he is just trying to help you so you don't waste time, take it or leave it

      August 30, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Mary

      What's it like to be crazy??????

      August 30, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Reality

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:
      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
      alone."
      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      August 30, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Reality

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      Of course, we all know that angels are really mythical "pretty wingie talking thingies".

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      p.4

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      August 30, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Reality

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times

      New Torah For Modern Minds

      “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

      The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

      August 30, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  2. paperjihad

    Eid mubarak!

    August 30, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  3. karbvi

    the problem with many muslims is they wear their religion on their on their sleeves.Most people you see you can't tell their religion which is how it should be, on the other hand many muslims carry their religion inposing it upon all around them which is wrong.Atheists, agnostics dont wear special clothes or head gear to point out their believes only selfish, fanatically religious people do that.

    August 30, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Joe Rioux

      The problem with many Christians is that they don't need a head scarf to "wear their religion on their sleeves." They do just fine with their constant talk of Jesus, and their injection of their religious beliefs into secular public policy.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Ylan

      But if they're not forcing their religion on you, what does it matter? If someone was harmlessly holding a Bible (thus, in your view, flaunting their Christianity), does it matter so long as they do not begin preaching to your face as to what you should believe? Or people wearing a cross pendant, for instance.
      For many Muslims, although I am not one myself, they wear traditional clothing as a symbol of their adherence to the cultural laws from where they came. They are preserving a tradition, and if it isn't doing harm to you, it shouldn't be an issue.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • paperjihad

      How Muslims dress imposes nothing upon you anymore than how you dress imposes anything upon me. To you your religion and to me mine. Bigotry gets neither you nor me anywhere good. So please stop.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  4. nikos

    But the question remains is this country with Muslims? I think not and frankly Muslims do nothing to help the situation – they draw a line at the largest tragedy to occur on our soil and decide to build a Mosque- even if 70% of Americans think it is not the proper place. That alone has increased the rage or Islamaphobia that CNN and the media have created, and when you see what Muslim intentions are in Europe we realize what is coming. First things first, we MUST GET THIS MUSLIM ass kisser out of the white house and draw a line in the sane so to speak. Bigot, racist, whatever the Left has a PHD at name calling- but most people do not trust Islam or those that follow this ideology they claim to be a religion. As for CNN repeated attempts at bashing Christianity and comparing the two is simply laughable. Te huffington post had an article in it last week that was a perfect example- A so called expert on the subject stated that there are only 1 in every 100,000 muslims that is an extremist meaning there are only 15,000 of what used to be called terrorists- see now we have to be PC in naming murderers.

    August 30, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Joe Rioux

      Oh? Fear of Muslims arose "only" from the WTC Mosque? Get real.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  5. Don

    How does anyone approve/support killing children? Killing innocent people walking down the street or while shopping; in support of what? It does happen here in the USA, but seems to be a way of life in the Middle East. I don't think many will ever understand why it continues and maybe we never will. All I know is it would be a better world if it stopped .. today ..

    August 30, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • tarfeanor

      america kills far more children around the world;millions of them died during the sanctions on iraq which a UN official described as "genocidal" after resigning in protest

      August 30, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Joe Rioux

      @tarfeanor: don't be an idiot. You can't sensibly compare economic sanctions to terrorists blowing themselves up in crowded public places. It's moronic, extreme comparisons like these that make sensible public discourse so difficult. You're the left-wing equivalent to the Tea Party.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • tarfeanor

      how about burning children alive with napalm in vietnam?or using chemical warfare to starve them into surrendering?or bombing stone age communities in laos?or the hundreds of thousands dead in iraq,not from sanctions but from bombings?

      August 30, 2011 at 11:58 am |
  6. johnnyO

    U.S. Muslims happy with their country despite pressure, study finds... strange MF'ers

    August 30, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  7. HOLY

    Ask Republican Peter King why 5% of all catholic preists are molesters and why 95% of all of the priests hide their crimes.
    It should be 0%.

    August 30, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • paperjihad

      I'd also like to ask him about his historical support for the IRA.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:56 am |
  8. Ollie

    This is funny,

    "Only 43% think that government anti-terrorist efforts are sincere. If 57% don't think they're sincere, then when the FBI comes into their communities, they're not going to cooperate with those efforts. I think that's worrying," he said.

    Believe it or not, I don't think non-muslim trust the FBI much more than those in this poll. LOL

    August 30, 2011 at 11:34 am |
  9. Islam4fools

    Problem with Muslims is they are more loyal to Islam than to US, a country that is feeding, sheltering and supporting them.

    Therefore, when US is in conflict with any Islamic nation, they will immediately start bashing US even if US is trying to do anything good.

    I am happy for them that they messed up their own countries (Pakistan, Iran, Libya, Malaysia, Iraq etc. etc.) by setting up backward Islamic rules (inbreeding, women abuse, pedophilia, violence) and now enjoying everything good that US/west has to offer, but their growing population and adherence to backward Islamic belief will destroy the west.

    August 30, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Paulwisc

      And how would you know this? You've polled each Muslim in this country?

      August 30, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • steelerguin

      Agree. Look at what's happening in Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, etc. etc. They do not want to assimilate into the existing culture. They want to change the existing culture and enact Sharia law initially for themselves and eventually for all.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • ruck

      Christians aren't any better

      August 30, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • tarfeanor

      thats exactly what the na zis said about the jews

      August 30, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • Jody G

      Muslims are required to be loyal to the Islamic faith or they are not true Muslims. This includes conversion of any population they get in touch with. The whole point is to convert the entire world, as demanded by their faith. It is necessary to become educated in the Koran and Haddiths before you can intelligently defend or bash these people. A woman's testimony has to be backed up by a man's because women are not dependable enough. Women are chattel and can be disposed of for disobedience, with no legal ramifications for the man or family member who kills her. This is the most violent religion I've ever seen. They are allowed to murder anyone who is not Muslim without any ramifications, and they can kill a Muslim in the name of Jihad. Every time I hear a story about "peaceful" Muslims, I wonder why they never want to talk about the many issues that are contrary to what we, as a nation believe. They are required to convert other countries they occupy into the practice of sharia law. What is so peaceful about a religion that forces it's will on everyone, whether or not they want it. They may lie about anything to protect Islam, so how can you ever believe anything they say. Don't be misled...read.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • paperjihad

      You mean how the Amish have assimilated, or Orthodox Jews? There's a Little Italy in a city near to me, and I suppose a China Town too. We don't need to all dress like lemmings to live together in this country, nor does it imply disloyalty.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  10. sanjosemike

    The article and survey is mainly about whether Muslims are "satisfied" about living in the US. However it would be interesting to survey their opinions about Israel. I would suggest that 95% would privately agree that Israel must be abolished. Of course they will never say this publicly, but in a room where nobody else is listening, they agree on this.

    I admit that this article is not about Muslims and Israel. However, I think the point still needs to be made, even though it is off topic. My apologies for printing an off-topic post.

    sanjosemike

    August 30, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • Paulwisc

      You need to get a life.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  11. steelerguin

    The most surprising aspect of that story is only 7 of 10 American muslims have unfavorable views toward al Qaeda. Are you kidding me? It should be 10 of 10. Al Qaeda are terrorists and murderers. No one in the US should support them.

    August 30, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Normon

      And the rest of the freaking sentence...
      "... while only 5% have favorable or somewhat favorable views."

      August 30, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • steelerguin

      @Normon....what's your point? 0% should support al qaeda.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • Paulwisc

      You have to learn not to think in black and white.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Ken

      That 5% is probably the same percentage who would support the KKK, or Tim McVeigh, or Anders Brievik, or Adolph Hitler. In any given population, 5% or so will support wackos, regardless of affiliation. You're really that surprised?

      August 30, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • USoldfolks

      To me this is a very disturbing statistic too. If 5% favor terrorists, that makes for thousands of potential enemies in this country!

      August 30, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Normon

      "Twenty-four percent of Tea Party supporters say it is sometimes justified to take violent action against the government. That compares to 16 percent of Americans overall who say violence against the government is sometimes justified."
      (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20002529-503544.html)

      August 30, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Joe Rioux

      Hear, hear.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • SPA Knight

      Normon,
      Doesn't the second amendment provision allow us to bear arms? The primary reason was to protect ourselves against our government should they threaten our freedoms and rights. I'm surprised the percentage isn't higher.

      August 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  12. Joe

    Obama's Illegal Alien Uncle Charged With Drunken Driving, Held by Immigration Officials!
    When asked who he wanted to call for his one phone call he said "The White House".
    Liberal slanted CNN is MUM AS USUAL!!!!
    But Fox News tells it like it is!
    YOUR NEWS IS BEING CENSORED BY A LIBERAL MEDIA COMPANY
    Go have a look for yourself!

    August 30, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Laughing

      Who's censoring anything? That's just not news. It has nothing to do with Obama, the country or really anything whatsoever (if its even true at all).

      Now if Obama flew in on a helicopter and picked up this alleged illegal alien uncle, flew him over the wall and then set up a huge mansion for him in Beverly Hills and then proceeded to try and cover all this up...... well that would be news.

      Please grow a brain

      August 30, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Normon

      Censored?
      Why would anyone care what Obama's uncle did?

      August 30, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • pres obama

      hey GTFO you fricken snitch!!!

      August 30, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • J.W

      At least CNN does not claim to be "fair and balanced." Fox News should be sued for false advertising.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Laughing

      @JW

      HEY! Fox is fair and balanced! They tell us reguluuuur amuriCANs how the arrogant liberal elite is taking over this country by infiltrating muslims, jews and all other types of unsatisfactory people in our government so they can, god forbid, give rights to everyone! And don't even get me started on that John Stewart fellow. He CLAIMES that his show on comedy central is for comedic purposed by why then does he make fun of republicans most of the time huh? He's just another liberal talking head! Fool!

      August 30, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Nah

      jw: "At least CNN does not claim to be "fair and balanced." Fox News should be sued for false advertising."

      And how are they not, pray tell, "fair and balanced"?

      Whether Fox News has conservative opinion shows is irrelevant, because many of them always have on liberal commentators and speakers. Last I checked, that counts as being "balanced". And if they give equal airtime to both views, then they're "fair" as well.

      Please. Be partisan elsewhere.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • J.W

      Well yeah I suppose you are right Laughing come to think of it why do rich people pay taxes at all. For example Alex Rodriguez makes $25 million a year right. If he doesnt have to pay taxes on that he will build a factory and hire like 1000 people. Every person making over 250000 a year uses that extra money to hire people. If none of those people paid taxes there would be no unemployment.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Nah

      laughing: "[Jon Stewart] CLAIMES that his show on comedy central is for comedic purposed by why then does he make fun of republicans most of the time huh? He's just another liberal talking head! Fool!"

      Your sarcasm has failed, sadly. Perhaps Stewart makes fun of Republicans because *gasp* he's a liberal who caters to a predominantly liberal audience. And if he's supporting, through comedy or otherwise, liberal views and positions, especially by denigrating conservative ones, that does make him a liberal "talking head", doesn't it?

      Or did that thought not pass through your mind?

      August 30, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • J.W

      Occasionally they have democrats on some of the shows. Oreilly is better about that. Hannity is horrible though. He almost always only has republicans and if he does have a democrat on he interrupts them constantly and tries to make them look like a bumbling idiot.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Laughing

      @Nah

      When you bring on a liberal speaker and then yell at them for being wrong, asking leading questions that generally get off topic and try and catch people in weird reasoning to make grandiose insinutation based entirely off of 0 evidence, that is not fair or balanced regardless of how you view the two words. Also being a conservative newstation that furthers the conservative cause kind of gives them a little "bias" which takes them out of the running as being fair.

      Don't be stupid, it's unbecoming.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Nah

      JW: "Laughing come to think of it why do rich people pay taxes at all. For example Alex Rodriguez makes $25 million a year right. If he doesnt have to pay taxes on that he will build a factory and hire like 1000 people. Every person making over 250000 a year uses that extra money to hire people."

      Nice strawman.

      Most of the people making 8 figure salaries are not sports players or actors. They're generally business owners and CEO's. You know, the people who own factories and hire workers.

      Try again?

      August 30, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • DamianKnight

      @Nah,

      I'm sorry, with all due respect, have you ever watched Bill O'Reilly on Fox News? He states his opinion and then shouts down people who gives a different opinion. And then, right before they reply with their point, he ends the commentary. Oh but he'll give ALL of the time in the world to some conservative who he agrees with.

      I'm neither conservative nor liberal. I actually tend to be pretty middle of the road, with slight leaning towards conservative, but even I have to say CNN and MSNBC are liberal news media with their own agenda, and FoxNews is the same way on the conservative side.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • AlanMichael

      Joe, did you forget to take your meds again?

      August 30, 2011 at 11:44 am |
    • Nah

      damian: "He states his opinion and then shouts down people who gives a different opinion. And then, right before they reply with their point, he ends the commentary."

      I don't watch Fox News, but on the few occasions I have seen one of their shows, O'Reilly's "shouting down" hardly ever silenced a liberal speaker.

      Just like when Anderson Cooper interrupts a Republican congressman to contest a point he's made (e.g., Rand Paul) it doesn't mean CNN is therefore not "balanced" or "fair". It's called debate.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Laughing

      @Nah

      I'm fairly certain you missed the part about John Stewart being a COMEDIAN! It's not his fault that republicans are incredibly more hypocritical and give him a lot more fodder than dems. Watch the show, he'll make fun of any politician or newscaster if they say ridiculous stuff, because he caters to an audience that likes comedy. If anyone watches his show as their sole news outlet then they aren't getting the real news.

      I would say the only time that John Stewart actually went on the offensive and aimed at Fox was when they had him on there once and just basically demonized him for 30 minutes straight, not letting John talk about his views, defend himself or raelly ask and debate any question at all. That's not journalism, sorry you think it is.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Nah

      laughing: "When you bring on a liberal speaker and then yell at them for being wrong, asking leading questions that generally get off topic and try and catch people in weird reasoning to make grandiose insinutation"

      And yet that hardly makes them "unbalanced" or "unfair", does it? That liberal speakers are on proves balance, and unless the liberal speakers are silenced entirely - and still get their points across - it's fair.

      The fact that Fox News's opinion shows are conservative, and so biased, is irrelevant to those facts.

      JW: 'Hannity is the worst about having people on'

      Err, sorry to burst your bubble, but doesn't Hannity have what he calls his "great American panel" every night? Which always includes at least one prominent liberal speaker?

      Facts are pesky things, aren't they?

      August 30, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • J.W

      So you honestly think that tax breaks for those people will help unemployment? I think they should pay their fair share of taxes too.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • J.W

      Nah you would be good on fox news. You like to insult anyone who doesnt agree with you. Just like Hannity.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • DamianKnight

      I guess for me, there is a place for news and a place for debate. You can't have both and fill an hour show. News should present the facts, not biased crap to boost ratings.

      Now if you want a debate show, I'd be all for that, as long as each party got a chance to speak their entire point, without someone breaking in. Even if you want to time it, like they do in Presidential Debates, that'd be awesome.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Nah

      damian: "I guess for me, there is a place for news and a place for debate. You can't have both and fill an hour show. News should present the facts, not biased crap to boost ratings."

      You seemed to miss the part where O'Reilly and Hannity's shows are "opinion" shows that are intended, first and foremost, to present an opinion, and have debates about them during the interviews.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • DamianKnight

      Then why does O'Reilly call it "The No Spin Zone"? Either it's a news show or an opinion show. You can't have it both ways...

      August 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • J.W

      Actually I think O'reilly is ok as far as giving equal chance for his guests to speak. Every time I have watched Hannity the more liberal guest never gets an equal chance. Hannity just wants reinforce the republican talking points with no counter argument.

      August 30, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  13. willy

    911 and Al Quaida? Just tell me, in your opinion, what are the odds for 3 buildings (yes 3) to collapse the same day on their own footprints? less than 1 in a trillion? right! check ae911truth org and get the facts!

    August 30, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Laughing

      wait..... are you saying that someone MEANT to fly those planes into the two towers?!

      .....idiot.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Normon

      When two fully fueled 767s fly fully powered into two of the buildings... odds are pretty good.

      August 30, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  14. FSM

    Happy holidays to everyone.
    from the Flying Spaghetti Monster Church

    August 30, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Laughing

      rAMEN

      August 30, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Pastafarian

      FSM, official sponsor of Iftars everywhere.

      Ramen!

      August 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  15. DamianKnight

    Slightly off-topic, but what amuses me the most are the people who still consider President Obama to be a Muslim (not that there is anything wrong with that; even the president is enti.tled to his religious beliefs.) The funniest part about it is, during the 2008 election, there was a HUGE uproar over the statements by the now-president's minister, Reverand Jeremiah Wright. The reason was, that the Obamas had been part of Wright's congregation for 20 years. I just find it amusing that people scream "He's a Muslim!" but he attended a church for 20 years, long before he was even in Washington as a Senator.

    August 30, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • Laughing

      It's the sad state our politics are in these days when the president has to defend himself against accusations about not being a christian, not being christian enough, being too christian and being american as if any of these things have anything to do with his policy and the way he's tried to handle a sagging America. When will the right and left be able to make peace I wonder?

      August 30, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Mike

      Slightly off topic, but lets bring up Obama in every article no matter the subject...

      August 30, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Ennam

      Once a Muslim, always a Muslim. At least that's what the Koran says. Funny how Obama remembers so much from the Koran. The call to prayer is like music to his ears. guess what. He's was and is still a Muslim.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • DamianKnight

      @Laughing,

      I agree with you. I'm not concerned with Obama's religious beliefs. If he can do the job, awesome. If he can't, then get rid of him and put someone there who can.

      While I may not agree with everything that Obama does or says, I do believe he is facing stonewalling from the GOP/Tea Party, the likes of which hasn't been seen. No other President has had to deal with the government teetering on the edge of financial default like he has. And that's just one example. This is a blatant attempt to stop Obama from doing what he believes will help America. But perhaps that is only my perception.

      @ Mike,
      The reason I brought it up was because of this line in the article "Life is getting harder for American Muslims, she says, given the media's portrayal of Muslims, the false perception that President Barack Obama is Muslim, and the rise of the tea party."

      August 30, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  16. Ahmed

    Happy Eid everyone! , to all my haters in here, I love you.

    August 30, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  17. Abba-Dabba-Du

    As long as they integrate into the society, and don't try to impose their laws on Americans, I have no problem with them. They have a right to be here, as long as they came here legally. However, the 5% that support Al Qaeda, should be deported.

    August 30, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Clover Girl

      And what gives you ANY basis for even thinking they might "try to impose their laws" on you? Fox News?

      August 30, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • lol

      lol, 911 was an inside job. You don't have to be afraid of Muslims. There, there.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Paulwisc

      You didn't read the article properly - "5% have favorable or somewhat favorable views". That doesn't mean they actively support them. I guess you want things to be black and white, absolute good and absolute evil, but there are always shades and colors to every issue. It is correct that Western powers have been meddling in the ME countries for more than a century and it is correct that Muslim values are in effect under attack from Western Christian values. If these people do nothing to actively support al-Qaeda, they have a right to their views, just as right-wing white supremacists have a right to their views. Just laugh at them.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Joe Rioux

      Vocal support for an extreme group or opinion is sanctioned by the U.S. Bill of Rights. You can't punish them unless they provide material support, or actively engage in terrorism.

      I agree though: I'd personally love to see the al Qaeda supporters deported. Send them to Afghanistan to live and see if they enjoy living in a country that does NOT have freedoms like we do. Then see if they support al Qaeda.

      August 30, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  18. Rob

    How can ANY American support Al Qaida or view them favorably?! According to this article, 5% of them do. Also according to the survey, HALF considered themselves Muslim before considering themselves American. That is the way of the Old World where the Middle East, and the Muslims, remain entrenched.

    August 30, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Normon

      You did read the following in the article, didn't you?
      "American Christians, by way of comparison, split right down the middle. Just under half say American, just under half say Christian, and less than one in ten chooses either both or 'don't know.'"

      August 30, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Brad

      Ask devout Christians what they are. I was raised Catholic, and many in the community I was raised in would easily say they're Catholic before they were Americans. Think about any one who says God, Family, and Country. They're putting religion first, then family, and after that, THEN and only THEN are they Americans.

      Not being religious at all, I identify with my family more so than a country.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Ennam

      Big difference between being RC and believing in AlQaeda. F'k those who try to make this comparison.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Ken

      Yeah, there's a difference now that Catholicism is on the ropes. A few centuries ago, the Roman Catholic Church was torturing, pillaging, and murdering with the best of them. And given the opportunity, they'd do it again . . .

      August 30, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Joe Rioux

      Ken, don't be ridiculous. Yes, the Roman Catholic Church did some awful stuff. But read up on Vatican II. The Church has learned from its abominable mistakes. Your statement is unnecessarily insulting.

      All Judeao-Christian religions seem to go through bloody periods. Read up on Israelite history and then compare it with modern Jewish history. Big difference. Same with Medieval Christian history vs. modern.

      Islam is a relatively young religion. It still needs to get the bloody nonsense out of its system.

      August 30, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  19. Marti

    So, 7 out of 10 have unfavorable views of al Qaeda? Let's see, let's put that in real numbers. If there are one million Muslims living in America, that means 300,000 Muslims living in the US do NOT have unfavorable views of al Qaeda. And people wonder why we profile.

    August 30, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Normon

      And the rest of the freaking sentence...
      "... while only 5% have favorable or somewhat favorable views."

      You can probably find 5% favorable toward just about anything.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • Clover Girl

      But how may of that 300,000 are neutral? The opposite of "having unfavorable views" is "not having unfavorable views". It is not "having favorable views". It might be "don't care", or "not enough info to decide". It needs more study.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • J.W

      Of course you could likely find 5% or more of some Christian extremist groups too.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Normon

      Again...
      "Twenty-four percent of Tea Party supporters say it is sometimes justified to take violent action against the government. That compares to 16 percent of Americans overall who say violence against the government is sometimes justified."
      (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20002529-503544.html)

      August 30, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • Marti

      Interesting how all these replies don't really address my comment. I'll face Christian extremists against al Qaeda any day. And you really are comfortable with someone being neutral about al Qaeda. Oh, and the best one, only 5% favorable toward al Qaeda. Wow. It only took 19 terrorists to turn our country upside down. You people better wake up and be on alert instead of spewing your liberal crap about peace on earth, goodwill toward men.

      August 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • Laughing

      @Marti

      A christian terrorist will kill you just as quickly and easily as a muslim one, so why would you rather be with them instead?

      Al Qaida, regardless of what it's intentions are for specifically non-believing americans, is about spreading the muslim faith. in principal its as benign as a missionary, which I'm sure people can support. I think you're focusing too much on a fringe and neglecting that every group has a fringe element that beleives in radical views, most of which could end up with you dead, even if you agree with the group that kills you.

      Geddit?

      August 30, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  20. Me

    ONLY 5% have a very favorable view of Al Qaeda?? ONLY 5%????? That's ONE IN TWENTY. That's HUGE. How many Christians have a very favorable view of the most violent elements of the KKK, the ones who openly advocate race war and lynching of minorities? Less than 1% of 1% or 1%? AND only 7/10 American Muslims have a very unfavorable view of Al Qaeda? Yeah, that's a majority, but STILL that means there are 30% who DON'T, which is an enormous minority. That doesn't even factor in all the ones that are probably lying. Just absolutely appalling and disgusting... yet these figures are hidden in a piece that is designed to paint Muslims in a positive light. Mind blowing.
    I am not a Christian, at all. I am a rationalist. I just can't fathom why there are so many out there trying to say all religions are equal when they so clearly are not. Watch what Sam Harris has to say about Islam if you want a clear and rational perspective. Not all Muslims are bad but Islam certainly tries very hard to make them that way.

    5% of AMERICAN Muslims supporting Al Qaeda in ANY measure is APPALLING.

    August 30, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • DamianKnight

      Well, it's 5% of the sample size. But seeing as how they studied 1000 Muslims, that's 50 that supports Al-Qaida. But I agree with your premise. Even if the poll just happened to pick the 50 people who supported Al-Qaida in the United States, that's far too many.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:04 am |
    • John S

      UNLESS, of course, they support al-Qaeda because they believe the al-Qaeda is innocent of what it has been accused of doing. Remember, al-Qaeda always publicly says that they only use terrorism in times of war .. and al-Qaeda still hasn't accepted responsibility for 9/11.

      Not everyone believes the American media, you know .. especially since it's completely controlled (owned) by large, international corporations .. and since American media seems to have an overconfidence in what the US government tells them.

      Just saying, data can be interpreted in different ways. Don't go outside your house and think 5% of Muslims support seeing suicide bombers blow up schools and market places. There is more going on here than that.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Clover Girl

      I'd say 1 in 20 Christians have extremist views. Sounds about right to me. And I'm a Christian.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Tom

      Uhmm...how many white people are in the US vs Muslums in the US? Not a good comparison.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Bill Mosby

      It would have been interesting to ask Catholics here the same kind of question about support of extremism when the troubles in Northern Ireland were ongoing. From what I have read, some of the financial support of the terrorists came from religious charities here, and I imagine that you could find admitted supporters of them among Catholics here in some small percentage or other. Surveillance and prevention was warranted in that case, as it is in the present case with Al Qaeda.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Paulwisc

      The article does not say they support al-Qaeda. That's your own misinterpretation.

      August 30, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Normon

      3
      "Twenty-four percent of Tea Party supporters say it is sometimes justified to take violent action against the government. That compares to 16 percent of Americans overall who say violence against the government is sometimes justified."
      (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20002529-503544.html)

      August 30, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • AlanMichael

      @ Me, the most violent elements of the KKK, are you kidding? Are there different friendly elements of the KKK, ALL ELEMENTS OF THE KKK is wrong! As for as support for the KKK is concerned, your 1% favorability rating is low because the KKK isn't active today. What percentage of Americans had a favorable opinion of the KKK between 1900-1965? I bet is was higher than 5%

      August 30, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Marti

      I couldn't agree with you more. I'm appalled that anyone would be comfortable with ANY percentage in America favoring al Qaeda. This is why America is open to more terrorists, because people deny, deny, deny.

      August 30, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
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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.