Americans are almost evenly divided in how they view Muslims, according to a survey released by the Arab American Institute in Washington.
But the online survey, which also gauged views on Mormons, Jews, Catholics, evangelicals, Buddhists and Hindus, also found a striking generational gap and significant differences between political groups.
“The American Divide: How We View Arabs And Muslims,” found that 41 percent of Americans had unfavorable views of Muslims, compared to 40 percent who held favorable views.
That’s an improvement from 2010, when another Arab American Institute survey found that 55 percent of Americans viewed Muslims unfavorably, compared to 35 percent with favorable views. Professor Jack Levin, co-director of the Center on Violence and Conflict at Northeastern University, attributed the spike in anti-Muslim sentiment in 2010 to protests against a proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero. “That effect has been fading over time,” Levin said.