Using statistics collected by the Pew Foundation, Good and Column Five have plotted the shifting sentiments of Americans toward Islam—specifically, what proportion of our population regards Muslims as inherently violent. For anyone who watches this topic, the stats probably aren’t shocking. What’s most interesting, though, is how drastically people’s beliefs and assumptions about other groups can change in light of foreign affairs and a few short years. In 2003, for example, 25 percent of Americans felt that Islam “is more likely to encourage violence,” but by the summer of 2007, the percentage has increased to 45 percent. After a few years of decline, the number of American fretting of Muslim violence has increased again to 40 percent.
Image by david_shankbone, licensed under Creative Commons.