Americans divided over monitoring activities of Muslims

A poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos reveals that 51 percent of United States residents regard Muslims living in America as same as other communities. This is important as the poll was conducted a few days post the San Bernardino attacks where two Muslims killed 14 individuals in California. Only 14.6 percent of total respondents showed alarm.

The Ipsos poll was conducted for Reuters and held over two days-December 3 and December 4. The total number of respondents in the survey were 1,056. Respondents were above the age of 18. All respondents were residents of continental US, Hawaii and Alaska. Questions were asked in English. Sample was inclusive of 159 Independents, 388 Republicans and 417 Democrats.

The study sample was drawn in a random manner from the online panel instituted by Ipsos and sources from partner online panels. Other source was “river” sampling. Ipsos utilized fixed sample targets which are unique for every study.

The way Americans should behave with Muslims, including both US residents and those who want to enter the country under the refugee quota has become a much argued topic. The topic has achieved divisive undertones post ISIS claimed credit for the slaughtering of 130 people in the French capital city of Paris. It did not help matters as a Muslim couple fatally shot 14 individuals and hospitalized 21 others in San Bernardino, California.

According to Amaney Jamal of Princeton, if terrorism was conceptualized to make a big gap between Westerners and Muslims, it is unfortunately succeeding. The terror threat will be battled by both non-Muslims and people of the faith together. He added that these gaps should be closed and people should work together without being afraid. Jamal is a politics professor at university.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll had 3.4 percentage points credibility interval for Americans of all ethnicity and approximately 5.5 percentage points when only Democratic or Republican responses are taken into account.

Republicans are more in favor (64 percent) compared to Democrats (43 percent) in supporting the idea that mosques should be closely monitored. The parties also showed divergence when it came to closing mosques with ties to suspected extremists. Republicans voted 69 percent and Democrats 48 percent on this issue.

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, attracted criticism when he announced that he open to closing mosques where the extremists practiced. The presidential hopeful also suggested that the names of all Muslims should be included in a database.

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