From Religion News Service
WASHINGTON (RNS) After nearly four years in the Oval Office, President Obama is incorrectly thought to be Muslim by one in six American voters, and only one quarter of voters can correctly identify him as a Protestant, according to a new poll.
“Wow. He said it 100 times that he’s not a Muslim,” said Zainab Al-Suwaij, executive director of the American Islamic Congress, expressing surprise over the persistent number of American voters (16 percent) who make the mistake.
Is there something insidious behind the belief, a concerted attack to link the president with a religion that’s considered alien — or worse — by some Americans?
“I think it’s more a lack of information than an attack on him,” said Al-Suwaij.
While Americans across the board get the president’s religion wrong, the religious group that most often thinks Obama is Muslim is white evangelical Protestants (24 percent). American unaffiliated with a religious group make the error least often: just 7 percent identify Obama as Muslim.
Daniel Cox, PRRI’s research director, said the small but not insignificant sliver of Americans who still believe Obama is Muslim is “fascinating.”