This is no surprise at all. It would be surprising if the outcome were any different from this. Eight years of a full-court press from government, law enforcement, and the mainstream media, endlessly telling us that Islam is a Religion of Peace and that the violent bits are merely the dirty work of a Tiny Minority of Extremists, and that only bigoted Islamophobes dare to "link Islam with terrorism."
What else is anyone to think? 9/11 is ancient history, a source for societal self-pity and maudlin reflection, but the "war on terror" is over, Islam is a Religion of Peace, and it's all sunshine and roses now.
The only problem is that there are still Islamic jihadists plotting the destruction of Western societies, and they are still operating here -- with access at high levels. These enlightened, non-bigoted, media-indoctrinated new attitudes reflected in this survey only abet the wholesale letting down of our guard. In the coming years, we will see whether I was simply a hysterical alarmist, or whether the warning I was sounding about this was genuine.
DALLAS, Sept 9 (Reuters) - The percentage of Americans who believe Islam encourages violence has declined in recent years but remains far above where it was in 2002, while very basic knowledge about the faith has shown modest increases, according to a new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
The poll's findings, released ahead of the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, come against the backdrop of President Barack Obama's attempts to reach out to the Islamic world and eroding public support for the war in Muslim Afghanistan as U.S. combat deaths there rise to record levels.
Most Americans also believe Muslims are discriminated against, a finding that suggests empathy for a community whose leaders often say they are regarded with suspicion and hostility.
The nationwide survey of over 4,000 adults in August found that 58 percent of Americans believe Muslims face a lot of discrimination in the United States. By contrast the same numbers for atheists and Mormons are 26 and 24 percent respectively.
"The fact that Americans believe Muslims face a lot of discrimination is a substantial finding ... It is sort of like the public looking at itself in the mirror and there is some empathy for a group facing discrimination," said Michael Dimock, an associate director at the Pew Research Center....
Thirty-eight percent of those polled believed Islam was more likely than other faiths to encourage violence, down from the 45 percent who held this view two years earlier.
But that number has fluctuated over the years and in 2002, when it was first asked the year after the Sept. 11 attacks, only 25 percent of the U.S. public said they thought Islam encouraged more violence than other faiths....