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Half of Americans Do Not Know the President’s Religion; 17% of Americans Believe He’s Muslim

30 July 2012 General 13 Comments Email This Post Email This Post
Around 17 percent of Americans surveyed in a new poll believe US President Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Around 17 percent of Americans surveyed in a new poll believe US President Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Half of Americans Do Not Know the President’s Religion

Three and a half years into President Obama’s first term as president, half of Americans cannot accurately say what religion he is, according to a pollreleased this week.

Only 49 percent of respondents said that Obama was Christian while 17 percent inaccurately said he was Muslim.  Nearly one-third of respondents said they did not know the president’s religion, according to the poll released Thursday by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life.

More people – 60 percent – knew that Romney, who has not held elected office in a decade, was Mormon than knew which religion the sitting president subscribes to.

And while only 9 percent of respondents said Romney was a religion that he is not, more than twice that amount said Obama adheres to a religion other than Christianity. The vast majority of those claiming Obama is not a Christian said he was a Muslim.

Nearly one in three Republicans said Obama was Muslim, twice as many as in 2008, the Pew study shows.

“Unfortunately there has been a development of a bizarre echo chamber within right wing of the political spectrum that truth and reality have failed to penetrate,” said Ibrahim Hooper, communications director at Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. “It’s a self-perpetuating, self-reinforcing delusion.”

But this seemingly large lack of basic knowledge about the president may have more to do with people’s opinion of Obama than how much they know about religious beliefs, said Alan Cooperman, associate director for research at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

“It’s entirely possible that what people are telling us isn’t exactly what they know but they are expressing an opinion,” Cooperman said. “We suspect — it’s hard to prove it– that some of the people who tell us that the president is a Muslim are using the question as a way to express their distrust or dislike for the president.”

Only 8 percent of Democrats said Obama was Muslim. Because there is such a wide divide between the parties’ responses, Cooperman said the results do not “just show whether people are ignorant on the president’s religion but more that they have an opinion on his religion.”

The percentage of people who said Obama was Muslim has stayed fairly steady since August 2010, when firestorm erupted over plans to build an Islamic community center two blocks from Ground Zero in New York City.

Hooper said that while the tension between Muslims and Christians has not been as public since the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy, he has seen “a steady erosion of tolerance and mutual understanding based on this relentless campaign of Islamophobia” since Obama was elected.

“It is visceral hatred for President Obama and to justify it they have to come up with these reasons: he is the other, he’s Muslim, he’s foreign born.”

But as of now, a candidate’s religion will not likely be the driving factor for whether people pick Obama or Romney in November.

Even though 65 percent of those who think Obama is Muslim said they were uncomfortable with his religion, most of them also said they already planned to vote for Romney. And among voters who knew Romney was Mormon, 80 percent either said his faith did not make them uncomfortable or that it did not matter.

“I’m not going to say it doesn’t matter at all,” Cooperman said, but it “doesn’t seem to have a lot of impact on their voting preference.”

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13 Comments »

  1. Due to the church scandal President Obama was on the edge of, I would be comfortable stating that many more people than the survey suggests realize that he claims to be a Christian. I think the problem comes into the fact that people simply do not believe him. Even the people who state he is Muslim, most know he claims to be a Christian they simply do not believe him. I have talked to some of these people, as I am sure you have also. They so strongly dislike the man they believe him to be untruthful on about every front. Personally I realize he went to church for years, but I am not sure of his convictions. Did he go to church because he is a believer or did he do it for political necessity? I have no idea. If he says he is a Christian then I will take it at face value. However, I have to take this from a man willing to place United States Citizens in armed military custody, for indefinite periods of time, without charges or access to an attorney for simply being suspected of being a terrorist. This makes me doubt his profession of faith. All in all this man is simply not a good leader. I am not really sure what type of leader Romney will be. For all I know we may get Romney and wish we had Obama back. How sad will that be.

  2. Obama is mysterious on many fronts. He seems to enjoy black racist rage rants, not that he would ever publicly do them, privately I think Michelle does. That church was providing him with that sort of entertainment. A former gf in recent mag says he took her to a black rage play, he found it amusing.

    I think the Obamas are college communists – she will wear a cheap dress to show her solidarity with the masses, she sneered at a gov. flag ceremony. Ayers would have approved. Not that they would actually go live under communism.

    WSJ is accusing him of sidestepping the congress.

    His economic team was supposed to be better than McCain’s. Mc. looked like a hasty hothead, Palin could handle Alaska but not the global stage, the country couldn’t resist having a first black prez. and all that is probably why this man of very thin experience is US prez.

    I don’t think he has much of any religion. He has NOI constituents. Black rage comes out of Chicago.

  3. [...] Half of Americans don’t know Obama’s religion [...]

  4. Perhaps they are just replacing Muslim with Black. He did turn 180 degrees on most of his promises, but that doesn’t really make him different than any other Christian president, since none of them seem to keep any of their promises.

  5. I think it is weird that so much of his youth is hidden. His papers, opinions, actions, etc. Still astounding that a person who never commanded a large enterprise, or even a small enterprise, is prez.

    When he was running I thought maybe the Dems wanted a puppet that could be manipulated.

  6. i don’t care if he is muslim or black. the problem is he is a socialist.

    muhammad bennet,

    “He did turn 180 degrees on most of his promises” like what? how may promises did he make? which ones did he break? he kept his socialised medicine promise.

    “since none of them seem to keep any of their promises.” WHAT? reagan kept alot of promises. he cut like 100,000 government jobs. teddy kept his promises on trust busting. fdr kept many of his socialized promises.

  7. Mike he promised to renegotiate NAFTA. He has not even touched the issue.

  8. ACLU wants to know how gov arrived at designating Alawki as a combatant, and the cert for 2nd drone that killed his son.

  9. I’ve been to websites where people have said if asked in a survey about President Obama’s religion they would say he is Muslim.Even though they are aware of his 20 year membership in Rev Wright’s racist “Christian” church. These people say they would answer that Obama is Muslim because Obama clearly does not want to be called Muslim.

  10. ccc,

    i’m not saying he kept all his promises. i’m saying the statement, “since none of them seem to keep any of their promises.” is a lie. or at least a really stupid statement.

    from the liberal rag the st pete times.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/rulings/promise-kept/?page=10

    as for nafta…..well that’s right you are a unionist. that’s for another forum. FREE TRADE…FREE TRADE…FREE TRADE…

  11. Mike stop cursing in the Forums

  12. Romney is starting to look like another governor who could handle his state well, but not the world, so maybe O will stay.

    Somebody said the trick of being a pol or a diplomat is to be able to predict others’ reactions to what you do or say.

  13. 1/2 of Americans are stupid

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