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Blacks More Likely To Favor N.Y. Islamic Center


NEW YORK - While non-Hispanic whites overwhelmingly agree more with those who object to building an Islamic center in Lower Manhattan, non-Hispanic blacks are more evenly divided, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

The center's Carroll Doherty, who provided the racial figures to Journal-isms, cautioned that just 92 African Americans were among the sample of 1,003 adults. But he said the differences between blacks and whites were significant on the Islamic center issue. Whites agreed with those who object to the center by 58 percent to 29 percent. Among blacks, 47 percent agreed with those who think it should be built, and 40 percent agreed with those who object.

Overall, "The public continues to express conflicted views of Islam," the center reported on Tuesday. "Favorable opinions of Islam have declined since 2005, but there has been virtually no change over the past year in the proportion of Americans saying that Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence. As was the case a year ago, slightly more people say the Islamic religion does not encourage violence more than other religions (42%) than say that it does (35%)."

The second significant racial difference, Doherty said on Friday, was that 73 percent of blacks said they knew a great deal or some about the Muslim religion, compared with 55 percent of whites.

 

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