View Full Version : Poll: Nearly one-half of Americans favor restricting Moslems' Rights

Saturday, December 18th, 2004, 08:01 AM

Nearly one-half of Americans favour restricting Muslims' rights: poll

December 17, 2004 - 19:39

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) - Nearly one-half of Americans believe the U.S. government should restrict the civil liberties of Muslim-Americans, a national poll indicates.

The survey conducted by Cornell University also found Republicans and people who described themselves as highly religious were more apt to support curtailing Muslims' civil liberties than Democrats or people who are less religious.

Researchers also found respondents who paid more attention to television news were more likely to fear terrorist attacks and support limiting the rights of Muslim-Americans.

"It's sad news. It's disturbing news. But it's not unpredictable," said Mahdi Bray, executive director of the Muslim American Society.

"The nation is at war, even if it's not a traditional war. We just have to remain vigilant and continue to interface."

The survey found 44 per cent favoured at least some restrictions on the civil liberties of Muslim-Americans. Forty-eight per cent said liberties should not be restricted in any way.

The survey showed 27 per cent of respondents supported requiring all Muslim-Americans to register where they live with the U.S. government. Twenty-two per cent favoured racial profiling to identify potential terrorist threats. And 29 per cent thought undercover agents should infiltrate Muslim civic and volunteer organizations to keep tabs on their activities and fund-raising.

Cornell student researchers questioned 715 people in the national telephone poll conducted this fall. The margin of error was 3.6 percentage points.

James Shanahan, an associate professor of communications who helped organize the survey, said the results indicate "the need for continued dialogue about issues of civil liberties" in a time of war.

While researchers said they were not surprised by the overall level of support for curtailing civil liberties, they were startled by the correlation with religion and exposure to television news.

"We need to explore why these two very important channels of discourse may nurture fear rather than understanding," Shanahan said.

The survey indicated 37 per cent believe a terrorist attack in the United States is still likely within the next 12 months. In a similar poll conducted by Cornell in November 2002, that number stood at 90 per cent.

Saturday, December 18th, 2004, 10:30 AM
This is great news. Egalitarianism is not as invulnerable as many people think it is.