Most Americans are on board with President Obama’s plan to “seek a new way forward” with the Muslim world, with 81% saying the initiative to improve relations with Muslim nations is important. This in spite of the fact that 55% say they lack a basic understanding of Islam, and 29% see it as a violent religion, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Nearly half of all respondents had an unfavorable view of Islam, the highest level since late 2001.
Nearly two-thirds said they trust Obama to handle his visit to Turkey well. A quarter of respondents, however, and half of Republicans, worried that he would “go too far.” Republicans were more likely to hold negative views of Islam, with 60% distrusting the religion, compared to 40% of Democrats; younger respondents were less likely than their elders to see Islam as inherently violent.