July 1, 2010 - New York City Voters Oppose Mosque Near Ground Zero, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Does Mosque Foster Understanding Or Insult 9/11 Victims?

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New York City voters oppose 52 - 31 percent a proposal by a Muslim group to build a mosque and cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 17 percent are undecided.

Opinions about the proposed mosque range from 46 - 36 percent support among Manhattan voters to 73 - 14 percent opposition in Staten Island, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Opposition to the mosque is 56 - 31 percent among white voters, 45 - 34 percent among black voters and 60 - 19 percent among Hispanic voters. Opposition among religious groups is 66 - 22 percent among Jews, 66 - 24 percent among white Catholics and 46 - 36 percent among white Protestants.

By a 44 - 28 percent margin, with 28 percent undecided, New York City voters say they have a generally favorable opinion of Islam. Voters with a favorable opinion of Islam support the mosque 54 - 30 percent while those with an unfavorable opinion oppose it 86 - 7 percent.

"New York enjoys a reputation as one of the most tolerant places in America, but New Yorkers are opposed to a proposal to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero. Is it because we're still nursing the wounds from the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center or is it more like bigotry?" asks Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"Opponents suggest that the mosque would dishonor the memory of the attack's victims.

"There's little overt hostility to the religion of Islam, although Quinnipiac University's borough-by-borough poll shows considerable variation."

"Liberal Manhattan accepts the mosque and trusts Islam. Staten Island, where there's controversy about another proposed mosque, is more skeptical," Carroll added.

Fifty-six percent of New York City voters, including 58 percent of whites, 50 percent of blacks and 48 percent of Hispanics, say they personally know a Muslim. A total of 52 percent say they understand Islam "very well" or "fairly well," while 45 percent say "not very well."

Mainstream Islam is a "peaceful religion," 55 percent of New York City voters say, while 22 percent say Islam "encourages violence against non-Muslims." Another 23 percent are undecided.

Those who personally know a Muslim say 68 - 17 percent that it is a peaceful religion but are divided on the mosque proposal, with 41 percent supporting it and 43 percent opposed.

Opinions on Islam as a peaceful or violent religion range from Manhattan, where voters say 68 - 12 percent that Islam is peaceful, to Staten Island, where voters say 48 - 29 percent that it is peaceful, from blacks, who say 61 - 12 percent it is peaceful, to whites who say 53 - 28 percent it is peaceful.

Jewish voters split as 42 percent say Islam is peaceful and 41 percent say Islam encourages violence. White Catholics say 48 - 31 percent it is peaceful, as do white Protestants 64 - 18 percent.

A mosque near Ground Zero would "foster understanding and teach people that not all Muslims are terrorists," 42 percent of New York City voters say. Of this group, 68 percent support the mosque.

Another 42 percent of voters say the mosque "is an insult to the memory and families of 9/11 victims." Of this group, 93 percent oppose the mosque.

From June 21 - 28, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,183 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed- http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, call (203) 582-5201, or follow us on Twitter.

20. Do you personally know anyone who is a Muslim, or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
Yes                  56%    49%    54%    63%    58%    50%    48%
No                   43     50     45     35     41     49     52
DK/NA                 1      1      1      2      1      1      -
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
Yes                  41%    54%    66%    60%    54%    63%    50%
No                   59     45     33     38     43     36     48
DK/NA                 1      1      1      2      3      1      2
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    NoColl Coll   POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    Degree Degree Lib    Mod    Con
Yes                  60%    61%    47%    42%    69%    69%    56%    43%
No                   40     38     50     57     30     30     43     55
DK/NA                 -      1      2      2      1      -      1      2
 
                                   OPN ISLAM Q21 WHITE......
                                   Fav    Unfav  Prot   Cath   Jew
Yes                                72%    44%    66%    51%    49%
No                                 27     56     33     48     50
DK/NA                               1      1      1      1      1
 
 
21. Would you say you have a generally favorable or unfavorable opinion of Islam, the Muslim religion?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
Favorable            44%    27%    50%    44%    42%    50%    37%
Unfavorable          28     53     21     28     36     20     25
DK/NA                28     20     30     28     23     29     37
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
Favorable            43%    45%    52%    41%    28%    46%    43%
Unfavorable          28     29     22     27     43     29     27
DK/NA                29     26     27     32     29     25     30
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    NoColl Coll   POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    Degree Degree Lib    Mod    Con
Favorable            52%    50%    35%    38%    50%    58%    47%    25%
Unfavorable          23     29     32     30     25     19     24     47
DK/NA                25     21     33     31     25     23     29     28
 
                     KNO MSLM Q20                WHITE......
                     Yes    No                   Prot   Cath   Jew
Favorable            57%    28%                  52%    36%    30%
Unfavorable          22     36                   18     41     49
DK/NA                21     36                   30     23     20
 
 
22. Every religion has mainstream beliefs, and also fringe elements or extremists. Thinking of mainstream Islam, do you think mainstream Islam encourages violence against non-Muslims, or is it a peaceful religion?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
Encourages violence  22%    44%    16%    22%    28%    12%    27%
Peaceful religion    55     32     60     58     53     61     48
DK/NA                23     24     24     20     19     27     25
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
Encourages violence  17%    29%    12%    25%    29%    21%    23%
Peaceful religion    52     52     68     50     48     60     51
DK/NA                31     19     20     25     22     20     26
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    NoColl Coll   POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    Degree Degree Lib    Mod    Con
Encourages violence  19%    22%    27%    27%    18%    12%    19%    41%
Peaceful religion    62     59     48     43     66     71     56     37
DK/NA                19     19     26     30     16     17     25     22
 
                     KNO MSLM Q20  OPN ISLAM Q21 WHITE......
                     Yes    No     Fav    Unfav  Prot   Cath   Jew
Encourages violence  17%    30%     6%    56%    18%    31%    41%
Peaceful religion    68     38     81     29     64     48     42
DK/NA                15     33     13     15     18     21     16
 
 
23. How much of a basic understanding do you think you have of the teachings and beliefs of Islam, the Muslim religion? Would you say that you understand it - very well, fairly well, or not very well?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
Very well            10%    18%     9%     9%     7%    10%     9%
Fairly well          42     38     38     48     47     40     34
Not very well        45     42     50     39     43     48     53
DK/NA                 3      3      3      4      2      2      4
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
Very well            10%     9%    12%    11%     7%    13%     8%
Fairly well          33     43     44     43     48     46     39
Not very well        54     46     41     41     44     38     51
DK/NA                 3      2      3      5      1      4      3
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    NoColl Coll   POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    Degree Degree Lib    Mod    Con
Very well            10%    15%     7%     9%    11%    12%     8%    12%
Fairly well          49     41     38     34     49     48     41     37
Not very well        36     42     53     53     37     37     49     48
DK/NA                 4      2      3      4      3      3      3      3
 
                     KNO MSLM Q20  OPN ISLAM Q21 WHITE......
                     Yes    No     Fav    Unfav  Prot   Cath   Jew
Very well            14%     5%    13%    14%     6%     6%    12%
Fairly well          54     27     54     41     60     40     43
Not very well        31     64     32     44     30     53     42
DK/NA                 1      5      1      1      4      1      3
 
 
24. How much have you heard or read about a proposal by a Muslim group to build a Muslim mosque and cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero - a lot, some, not much, or nothing at all?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
A lot                38%    50%    33%    43%    48%    32%    30%
Some                 33     30     33     32     34     32     26
Not much             10      7     10     12      8     13     11
Nothing at all       17     12     22     11     10     22     31
DK/NA                 2      -      2      2      1      2      2
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
A lot                38%    41%    34%    36%    47%    43%    34%
Some                 25     29     37     36     37     32     33
Not much             12     11     10      9      8     10     11
Nothing at all       24     17     17     16      7     14     21
DK/NA                 1      1      1      3      1      2      1
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    NoColl Coll   POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    Degree Degree Lib    Mod    Con
A lot                29%    41%    43%    33%    43%    37%    35%    46%
Some                 36     35     28     29     36     37     35     24
Not much             10     10     10     12      8      9     11     11
Nothing at all       24     13     15     23     12     15     18     19
DK/NA                 1      1      3      2      1      2      1      1
 
                     KNO MSLM Q20  OPN ISLAM Q21 WHITE......
                     Yes    No     Fav    Unfav  Prot   Cath   Jew
A lot                43%    32%    37%    49%    42%    50%    55%
Some                 36     29     38     27     31     32     27
Not much              8     13     11      7     12      9      7
Nothing at all       12     25     13     15     11      8     11
DK/NA                 1      2      1      1      4      1      -
 
 
24a. Do you support or oppose this proposal?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
Support              31%    10%    37%    32%    31%    34%    19%
Oppose               52     82     45     50     56     45     60
DK/NA                17      8     18     17     13     21     21
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
Support              26%    28%    46%    28%    14%    33%    29%
Oppose               57     57     36     52     73     50     54
DK/NA                17     15     18     20     13     17     17
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    NoColl Coll   POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    Degree Degree Lib    Mod    Con
Support              38%    34%    26%    24%    37%    52%    27%    12%
Oppose               47     50     59     56     48     32     55     78
DK/NA                15     17     15     20     15     17     17     11
 
                     KNO MSLM Q20  OPN ISLAM Q21 WHITE......
                     Yes    No     Fav    Unfav  Prot   Cath   Jew
                     41%    18%    54%     7%    36%    24%    22%
Oppose               43     64     30     86     46     66     66
DK/NA                16     18     16      6     18     10     12
 
                     Q25..........
                     Unstnd Insult
 upport              68%     1%
Oppose               15     93
DK/NA                17      6
 
 
25. Some people say that building a Muslim mosque and cultural center near Ground Zero will foster understanding and teach people that not all Muslims are terrorists; others say that it is an insult to the memory and families of the 9/11 victims - which comes closer to your point of view?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Wht    Blk    Hisp
Foster understanding 42%    13%    49%    43%    38%    46%    37%
Insult to families   42     77     33     39     51     30     45
BOTH(VOL)             2      2      3      1      2      4      3
NEITHER(VOL)          6      3      5      7      4      7      6
DK/NA                 9      5     10      9      6     14      8
 
                     Brnx   Kngs   Man    Qns    StIsl  Men    Wom
Foster understanding 39%    39%    54%    39%    22%    43%    41%
Insult to families   45     46     27     40     68     41     42
BOTH(VOL)             1      4      2      2      1      2      3
NEITHER(VOL)          4      4      8      5      5      7      5
DK/NA                11      6      8     14      4      8     10
 
                     AGE IN YRS.......    NoColl Coll   POL PHIL.........
                     18-34  35-54  55+    Degree Degree Lib    Mod    Con
Foster understanding 51%    42%    36%    34%    48%    63%    41%    17%
Insult to families   36     42     46     44     40     23     42     68
BOTH(VOL)             2      2      3      3      2      3      2      2
NEITHER(VOL)          4      5      6      6      5      5      6      4
DK/NA                 6      9     10     13      5      6      9      9
 
                     KNO MSLM Q20  OPN ISLAM Q21 WHITE......
                     Yes    No     Fav    Unfav  Prot   Cath   Jew
Foster understanding 53%    27%    65%    15%    42%    30%    28%
Insult to families   34     52     22     72     45     60     61
BOTH(VOL)             1      4      2      2      1      1      3
NEITHER(VOL)          6      5      6      5      3      3      3
DK/NA                 6     12      5      6     10      6      5