Americans Back Push for Better Muslim Relations

Want Better Relations With Muslims
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2009 9:29 AM CDT
Americans Back Push for Better Muslim Relations
U.S. President Barack Obama, left, and Turkey's President Abdullah Gul, right, shake hands following their joint statement at Cankaya Palace in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, April 6, 2009.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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.
(More Barack Obama stories.)

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