CNN Poll: Most Americans 'okay' with a mosque in their community
March 24th, 2011
10:17 AM ET
12 years ago

CNN Poll: Most Americans 'okay' with a mosque in their community

Editor's Note: CNN's Soledad O'Brien chronicles the dramatic fight over the construction of a mosque in the heart of the Bible belt. Soledad O'Brien Reports "Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door", Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CNN.

(CNN) - Would you be "okay" with a mosque in your community?

According to a new national poll, most Americans say yes.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday found 69 percent of Americans would be "okay" with a mosque in their area while 28 percent would not.

But there are big differences depending on where you live. Half of rural Southerners say they disapprove of a mosque in their neighborhood, while 42 percent say they would be "okay" with it. That rises to roughly three-quarters among those who live in cities and suburbs.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, anti-mosque activity across the country, ranging from vandalism to lawsuits, has occurred in 21 states over the past five years.

Positive views of Muslim Americans are on the rise since 2002, according to the new poll, which found 46 percent of all Americans have a favorable view of American Muslims today, and 26 percent say they have an unfavorable view.

"Overall, positive views of American Muslims have risen since 2002, when memories of 9/11 were still fresh in most Americans' minds," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In 2002, as the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approached, only 39 percent of all Americans said they had a favorable view of Muslims."

Americans in the South and rural communities are far less likely to have a favorable view of American Muslims, just 32 percent. While 31 percent of rural Southerners say they have an unfavorable opinion of American Muslims, 37 percent say they don't know enough to have an opinion.

When it comes to attitudes towards the Islamic faith, American opinions haven't changed much.
"In 2002, 28 percent of all Americans had a favorable view of Islam and 33 percent feel that way today," Holland says.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey was conducted March 11-13, with 1,023 people questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Filed under: CNN poll • Polls
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Army Ranger

    Where exactly did this poll take place? I am sure it wasn't in California, Texas, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Tennesee, Vermont,etc. So PLEASE GIVE US A BREAK WITH ALL THIS LIBERAL POLLS.

    March 24, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Al-NY,NY

    about the same percentage of people saying "no" is the number of people who affiliate as Republicans......a coincidence????

    March 24, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Manuel

    I do not belive such poll is correct, and I am not okay with a mosque in my community. America was founded on Christian values and not on muslim values. Christians do not blow themselves up and kill innocent people who do not want to convert to Christianity. Christians value human rights, muslins degrade women and treat them worst than servants.

    March 24, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Jerry

    I don't how the data was polled, but I do not believe this poll at all. Because of their quite acceptance to what happened on 9/11, and their silence on helping combat terror, the Muslim community is not making itself look very good in the sight of the American people. I wish CNN would stop pushing its own political agenda on topics like this, get out of their offices and go talk to the regular people who live in this country.

    March 24, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    The more I have come to know about how Muslims think, the more I am concerned about that religion in the US, or any other westernized country.

    March 24, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  6. jules sand-perkins

    Almost every Muslim I know is kind and considerate. Quite a few live and work near me, and they form a wonderful part of the community.
    I am still opposed to erecting an Islamic center near Ground Zero.

    March 24, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  7. Obamacare = Romneycare v1.01

    We have one Mosque (with another on the way), a Hindu temple, a Methodist Church, a Catholic Church, a Korean Lutheran Church and some sort of non-denominational place of worship within our community. No problems with any of them.

    All we need is a Jewish Temple, a Greek Orthodox Church, a Bhuddist Temple, and a Baptist Church to round out our collection.

    March 24, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. DIANA

    I disapprove having a Christian church in my neighborhood. They're more dangerous to our country than the mosques.

    March 24, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. ConservaFascists/F.U.B.A.R.

    Why is this even an issue? This is the kind of BS that goes on when you put hateful people in Congress(Rep. King of NY). When did discrimination of any sort become tolerable in this country?

    March 24, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. blf83

    It's good to know that a majority of Americans are reasonable. I have hope the crazies might not win.

    March 24, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Darth Vadik, CA

    News to most Americans:

    DOES NOT MATTER WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT A MOSQUE IN YOUR AREA, it is none of your business how others worship

    March 24, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. Femi Patrias

    Would you be okay with a church in your community? How about a synagogue?

    March 24, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Blue

    I don't have a problem with Muslims as people ... I have a BIG problem with Islam, and that includes teaching their inherently evil religion in mosques.

    March 24, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. ...

    ...and of that 28% that weren't "okay" with having a mosque loctated near them, 98% of them identifiy themselves as "Tea Party" members.

    March 24, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. Not All Docs Play Golf

    Despite the Tea Party types getting a disproportionate amount of air time in the media, this shows that they do NOT represent most Americans, and that most Americans are true moderates and not irrationally reactionary. Diversity should be our strong point.

    March 24, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. Renny

    I have an unfavorable view of muslims. Spent 20 months in Iraq, don't trust any muslim any further than I can throw them. If they are devout they can be trusted even less. The devout ones look upon "non-believers" as less than animals and it is not a sin to kill them.

    March 24, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  17. Abdulameer

    If most Americans are O.K. with a mosque in their neighborhood, that is only because they are ignorant about Islam and mosques. They think that Islam is just another religion and that mosques are just prayer houses like churches or synagogues. the fact is that respected Islamic religious authorities tell us that Islam is NOT a religion like other religions because Islam is an ideology like communism, a complete code of life (Sharia) which regulates every aspect of personal life and society. Islam is an ideology - both totalitarian and imperialistic. If Islam is an ideology, mosques are centers for the propagation of that ideology, outposts for the spreading of Islam, not just houses of prayer. Americans need to wake up to this fact.

    March 24, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  18. Charlie E

    I have no problem with a mosque in our community, I believe it is any reliegon's constatutional right to freedom of religeion. Having said that, I believe that their followers must obey the local, state and federal laws. If they tried to worship in the street and block traffic, like is happening in France, I think the people doing this should be arrested, if it continues, the Mosque should be shut down as a public hazzard. The same goes for Christian churchs and Jewesh synagoges.

    March 24, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. jeff

    How do you come up with the the title being "most Americans" when you only sampled 1023 people? I guess the population of America has shrunk considerably

    March 24, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. #1AMERICAN

    I would highly doubt the accuracy of this poll..seeing that it comes from the left leaning "clinton news network...

    March 24, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  21. Tom

    Are you kidding? Who did they interview in this poll? I am sorry, but until the Muslim community gets a handle on their more violent elements, they have to stay away.

    March 24, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. Tony in Maine

    Gee, isn't that nice of "us." How very Christian.

    Personally, I'm also okay with a Baptist or Pentecostal church in my town just so long as they don't try to push their brand of religion on me. Sarcasm mode off

    Whatever happened to people minding their own business?

    March 24, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  23. Mike

    "Americans in the South" are against anything that is not white, southern baptist, and conservative.

    March 24, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  24. Sarah B.

    Why would I have a problem with a Mosque in my community? The question is ridiculous.

    March 24, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  25. Bullzi

    If the pagans built a mosque in my town, I would have an endless supply of hubcaps and other car parts to take while they are inside, butt-up, facing east.

    March 24, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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