Sep 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Negative biases toward U.S. Muslims, Islam have become more partisan

Americans who say Islam is more likely encourage violence among believers
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

In the 20 years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Republicans — far more than Democrats — have increasingly come to view Islam as more likely than other religions to encourage violence among believers, according to surveys by Pew Research Center.

Why it matters: Muslims have continued to face bias and discrimination in the U.S. two decades after 9/11, and those negative biases have become increasingly partisan.

By the numbers: As of last month, seven in 10 Republicans associated Islam with violence. While only about one-third of Democrats thought the same way, they are still more likely to think of Islam as encouraging violence than in early 2002.

  • There are other signs of a partisan gap in views toward Islam after 9/11.
  • While 68% of Republicans said the religion was not a part of the American mainstream in a 2017 Pew survey, only 37% of Democrats agreed. More than half of Republicans believed there was extremism among Muslims in the U.S., compared to less than a quarter of Democrats.
  • About half of Muslim Americans said they experienced discriminatory actions in a 2017 Pew poll — up from 40% a decade before.
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