- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Iowa caucus-goers taking part in a poll said Islam, by and large, is a peaceful religion — and that finding has some Muslims shocked, particularly with Republicans.

The Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa Poll showed that 53 percent of Republicans and 81 percent of Democrats think Islam is a peaceful religion — and only 39 percent of GOPers and 13 percent of Democrats see it is as inherently violent.

Basim Bakri, 54, who moved from Jordan to Iowa 30 years ago, said he’s surprised especially that so few Republicans labeled the Muslim faith as violent because so many in the party seem to have a “set mind about Islam,” he said, the Des Moines Register reported.

Ako Abdul-Samad, a Democratic state representative from Des Moines, expressed similar shock at the Republican numbers — but then credited the tolerance to the fact that so many Muslims now live in Iowa and interact with both Democrats and GOPers on a daily basis.

“Their doctors now are Muslim,” he said, the Des Moines Register said. “Their dentist is Muslim. Their IT person is Muslim.”

Mr. Abdul-Samad said the media and coverage of radical Islamic bombings and attacks have ratcheted the anti-Muslim rhetoric and skewed perceptions about Islam.

The poll was conducted Jan. 26-29 by telephone.

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