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Poll indicates animus toward Islam

Poll indicates animus toward Islam
A Palestinian prays in the torched and vandalized Prophet's Mosque in Beit Fajjar, north of Hebron in the West Bank, October 4, 2010, 2010. Palestinian sources said that Jewish settlers entered the mosque and torched the mosque, Koran books, prayer rugs and left Hebrew graffiti with slogans against Arabs, Muslims and Mohammad on the walls. UPI/Debbie Hill | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Nearly twice as many Republican poll respondents in the United States as Democrats said Islam encourages violence, a Pew survey indicated.

A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center indicated older Americans and Republican voters asked said they viewed Islam as violent. The survey indicated that 54 percent of Republican respondents said they had an unfavorable view of Islam compared with 27 percent of Democrats.

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Nearly half of the Americans surveyed over the age of 65 said they had an unfavorable view while around 30 percent of Americans aged 18-33 reported similar views regardless of party affiliation.

Opponents of plans to build a mosque in central Tennessee filed a lawsuit to block its construction, arguing in part that Islam isn't a valid religion. A similar dust-up concerns plans for an Islamic center about two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center in New York.

While most Americans interviewed by Pew said they didn't want to see a mosque near Ground Zero, 60 percent of those surveyed said they felt Muslims should have the same rights as others to build places of worship in their community.

In general, the survey indicated a slight decline in the number of Americans who reported an unfavorable view of Islam.

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The Pew center interviewed 1,003 adults by phone from Aug. 19-22. The center said it had a total sampling error of 4 percentage points.

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