- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Nearly half of Americans surveyed in a new poll said they think “at least some” Muslims harbor anti-American sentiments.

Forty-nine percent think Muslims in the U.S. have some animosity toward Americans and their values, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday.

Eleven percent said they think “all or most” Muslims are anti-American,14 percent said “about half,” 24 percent said “some,” and 9 percent said they “don’t know.”

Another 42 percent think “just a few or none” of the Muslims in the U.S. have anti-American attitudes.

But Americans surveyed overwhelming said they believe extremism is a product of violent people and not religious beliefs.

When asked “what is the bigger problem about violence in the name of religion?” 69 percent said “some violent people use religion to justify actions,” while 22 percent said the “teachings of some religions promote violence.”

When asked which religions do promote violence, 14 percent said Islam, 2 percent blamed multiple or all religions, and 1 percent said “other religions.”

Another 4 percent said they don’t know which religion is at fault, and 10 percent said “neither, both or don’t know.”

Pollsters found that Americans are evenly divided on how the next president should broach the subject of Islamic extremism.

About 50 percent said the next president should “be careful not to criticize Islam as a whole when speaking about Islamic extremists,” but about 40 percent say the next president should “speak bluntly about Islamic extremists even if the statements are critical of Islam as a whole.”

Those views were largely divided based on party lines with 70 percent of Democrats saying the next president should not criticize the religion as a whole and about 65 percent of Republicans said the president should speak bluntly about Islamic extremism.

Pew conducted its latest survey of 2,009 American adults via cell and landline telephone interviews from Jan. 7-14. The survey has a 2.5 percent margin of error.

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