A new survey shows just how uncomfortable the GOP base is with Muslim and Arab people
The site of a proposed mosque sits closed as a police officer stands guard in New York, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/David Goldman) (Credit: David Goldman)
Anyone wondering why Rep. Michele Bachmann would launch a witch hunt against Muslims or why the Republican Party would add a plank to its platform opposing Sharia law need look no farther than a new poll conducted by the Arab American Institute.
The poll, release today, asked Americans for their views on various religious groups, as well as on Arabs and Arab-Americans. It also asked respondents how confident they would be that a Muslim or Arab-American holding a position of influence in government could do their job without letting “ethnic loyalty … influence their decision-making.”
The results are split sharply along partisan lines. Overall, Republican voters hold strongly negative views of Muslims, with 57 percent saying they view them unfavorably and just 26 saying they view them favorably — more than double. The numbers are similar for Arabs, whom Republican respondents view negatively by a slightly smaller margin of 26 percent, 53 to 27 percent. When asked about “Muslim Americans” and “Arab Americans,” the numbers improved slightly, with a 12 and 15 percent net unfavorable rating, respectively.