ABC News/Washington Post Poll on U.S. Views of Islam

Key Trends

ABC News and the Washington Post recently conducted a poll of U.S. attitudes toward Islam and the Muslim world. The results are of significant interest to anyone addressing U.S. relations with Islamic states and dealing with issues like the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and extremism and terrorism. The results of this poll are summarized in graphic form in a new report from the Burke Chair, along with summary analysis by Gary Langer of the ABC News polling unit. These data show that the number of Americans with unfavorable attitudes toward Islam continues to rise, but that Americans are relatively evenly split in their attitudes--with 41 percent favorable and 48 percent unfavorable.

Moreover, an overwhelming 81 percent of Americans in this poll call it "important" for Obama to try to improve U.S. relations with Muslim nations; 46 percent say it’s "very important." While slightly more than one in five express concern that he’ll "go too far" in that effort, 65 percent, expect him to handle it "about right."

Anthony H. Cordesman

Anthony H. Cordesman

Former Emeritus Chair in Strategy