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Sixth, the views of two important American constituencies on Middle East policy, Evangelicals and American Jews, are particularly contrasting. Among those identifying themselves as Jewish Americans 5 percent of the sample , only 20 percent say that Islamic and Western religious and cultural tradition are incompatible.

This contrasts with 55 percent of Evangelical Christians. While 43 percent of Jewish Americans have favorable views of Islam which is slightly higher than the national total of 37 percent , only 18 percent of Evangelicals feel the same. And 55 percent of Jewish Americans express favorable views of Muslims, in contrast to only 38 percent of Evangelicals.

How Americans are perceived by the rest of the world

Seventh, majorities of those who know some Muslims—even if not well—have favorable of views of Muslims; this holds across the political spectrum. For example, only 22 percent of Republicans who know no Muslims have favorable views, compared with 51 percent of Republicans who know some Muslims but not well, and 59 percent of those who know some Muslims well.

But knowing some Muslims, even well, does not influence American views of Islam as much. While those who know Muslims have slightly improved views of Islam, still, majorities of Republicans and Independents retain an unfavorable view of the Muslim religion. And even Americans who say they know some Muslims very well are divided down the middle in their attitudes toward the Muslim religion. In the end, does it really matter how Americans view Muslims? Enormously—and not just because of policy implications, but also because it inevitably affects the way Muslims see themselves.

Our current debate is of course colored by the breathtaking exaggerations of an unusually intense political season. In the process, we forget that religion and ethnicity are often only small parts—sometimes mere afterthoughts—of how people see themselves. Before last week, I had thought of myself as a lawyer, a feminist, a wife, a sister, a friend, a woman on the street.

People define themselves in part as a function of how others view them; we are what we have to defend. The worst thing that Americans can do is paint the wrong picture of Muslims—including their own fellow Americans. For more on the demographics of the U. Muslim population, see Chapter 1. The diversity of Muslims in the U. While nearly all Muslims say they are proud to be Muslim, they are not of one mind about what is essential to being Muslim, and their levels of religious practice vary widely. Most U. Yet many U. Muslims say that for them, personally, being Muslim is about more than these core religious beliefs.

In other ways, though, U. Muslims look similar to U. Christians — on average, the two groups show roughly equal levels of religious commitment.

About two-thirds of U. Christians who have described themselves as weekly churchgoers in recent surveys. The survey also shows that eight-in-ten Muslim Americans say they fast during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Salah is a form of ritual prayer or observance performed throughout the day, and praying salah is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

For more information, see the glossary.


  • What Americans really think about Muslims and Islam;
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American Muslims, like the U. By , Muslims were roughly evenly split on this question. While Muslims remain somewhat more conservative than the general public on views toward homosexuality, they are more ideologically liberal than U. About eight-in-ten U. On some other issues, the views of U. Muslims mirror those of the larger public. Two-thirds of U. Muslims say they voted in the election. Those who say there is a conflict were asked to explain, in their own words, why they think Islam and democracy clash.

For more details on responses to these questions, see Chapter 4. About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

When is killing civilians seen as justifiable? In their own words: What Muslims said about discrimination and support Pew Research Center staff called back some of the Muslim American respondents in this survey to get additional thoughts on some of the topics covered.

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In their own words: What Muslims said about their place in America Pew Research Center staff called back some of the Muslim American respondents in this survey to get additional thoughts on some of the topics covered. See the Methodology for details. Hauslohner, Abigail.

May 21, Muslim population estimates reflect a correction made on Nov.

Perceptions of U.S. Public Diplomacy | Council on Foreign Relations

See Appendix B: Survey Methodology for details. Among Christians, this pattern is reversed, with women reporting higher rates of church attendance than men. Then, all citizens including those born in the U. Registered voters were then asked whether they voted in , and, finally, those who indicated they voted were asked who they voted for. Pagination Next: 1. Video: U. Muslims Dataset. Table of Contents Overview Muslims concerned about extremism, both globally and in U. Roughly half of Muslims say they have experienced recent discrimination Muslims leery of Trump Muslims proud to be American, but say they face significant challenges in U.

Demographic portrait of Muslim Americans 2. Identity, assimilation and community 3. The Muslim American experience in the Trump era 4. Political and social views 5. Terrorism and concerns about extremism 6. Religious beliefs and practices 7. How the U.

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Related Fact Tank Nov 15, Fact Tank Sep 18, Fact Tank Aug 28, Publications Aug 9, Publications Aug 30, Research Areas U. Her trip, which met with resistance and opposition from some Saudi and Turkish women, has received mixed reviews from U. Some have praised her candidness and commitment to boosting the budget for public diplomacy. Her high profile has helped give her tour coverage, both good and bad, Cowan says. Second, her message may sound hollow because of the unpopularity of the U.

And it is not just the State Department that has ramped up its public-diplomacy efforts. Previous attempts by the Pentagon at public relations have been controversial. In , the Defense Department scrapped its Office of Strategic Influence after reports surfaced it had disseminated false information to the foreign media The Pentagon has denied this occurred.

Several experts question the efficacy of such efforts and whether this style of public diplomacy is still relevant or necessary. There are skeptics who say that much of the world is not anti-U. They point out that public diplomacy is a necessary additive to, not a substitute for, foreign policymaking. Other experts argue that public diplomacy is vital, given the stakes anti-Americanism poses for U.

Public diplomacy also serves a similar function as it did during the Cold War: to counter an informational war being waged against the West by the enemy—in this case, radical Islamists.


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  8. Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Abu al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, have used the media—most famously by passing videotapes to Arabic television—to publicize al-Qaeda and sway public opinion in the Middle East, stressing themes that resonate with Arab and Muslim viewers. In general, most experts say there must be a renewed focus on building person-to-person contacts between the United States and other nations. Most experts agree that public diplomacy is not adequately funded or staffed.

    He also suggests adding more linguistic experts in the region, recounting a recent episode when Arabic-speaking U.

    Post-9/11 Policies Dramatically Alter the U.S. Immigration Landscape

    Only five responded that they were. Another area in need of reform is altering the coverage of U. The proliferation of twenty-four-hour media outlets and information technologies makes public diplomacy more complicated—and expensive—than ever before, experts say. One way to improve coverage, Brown says, is to make sure these outlets have up-to-date and complete copies of important speeches and documents. He has proposed a not-for-profit Corporation for Public Diplomacy, similar to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting founded by Congress in , which could receive private-sector grants but is intended for an international audience.