Majority of Americans want next president not to criticize Islam: Survey

A majority of Americans believe the next US president should be careful and not criticize Islam as a whole when speaking about Islamic extremists, according to a latest survey.

The Pew survey stated yesterday that 70 per cent of Democrats and independents who lean towards Democratic party want the next president to refrain from speaking bluntly about Islamic extremism and not criticize Islam as a whole.

However, four-in-ten want the next president to speak bluntly about Islamic extremists even if the statements are critical of Islam as a whole, the survey said, adding that blunt talk is preferred by 65 per cent of Republicans and those who lean toward the Republican party.

The survey also showed that many Americans think a substantial segment of the US Muslim population is anti-American.

While 42 per cent of adults say “just a few” Muslims in the country are anti-American (or that none are), 49 per cent of the public believes at least “some” US Muslims are anti-American, including 11 per cent who say “most” or “almost all” US Muslims are anti-American and 14 per cent who think “about half” the US Muslim population is anti-American, it said.

The survey noted that while many Americans were concerned about Islamic extremism, most people think the problem with violence committed in the name of religion is with people rather than with religion per se.

A total of 68 per cent Americans believe the bigger problem is that some violent people use religion to justify their actions.

Only 22 per cent believe the bigger problem is that the teachings of some religions promote violence, the survey stated.

However, when those who say they think religious teachings are the bigger problem are asked to specify which religions they think are problematic, Islam is the most common response offered, it said.