The public’s views of whether Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence have changed little in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Currently, 42% say Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers, while 46% say Islam does not encourage violence more than other religions. These are similar to opinions about Islam and violence for most of the past decade. But in March 2002, six months after the 9/11 attacks, just 25% said Islam was more likely to encourage violence while 51% disagreed.
The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted May 1-5 among 1,504 adults, finds sizable demographic and religious differences in attitudes toward Islam and violence. And the partisan gap is as large as ever: 62% of Republicans say that Islam encourages violence more than other religions, compared with 39% of independents and just 29% of Democrats.