Every 5th American thinks Obama is a Muslim: Poll Read more: Every 5th American thin

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Neil, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. Neil

    Neil Senior Member Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2010
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    WASHINGTON: Over a year and a half into Barack Obama's Presidency, an increasing number of Americans - nearly one in five - incorrectly believe that he is a Muslim, a new survey has revealed.

    The view that Obama is a Muslim is more widespread among his political opponents than among his backers, the Pew Research Center said after releasing the results of its national survey.

    The Pew Research Center said 18 per cent of the Americans now say Obama is a Muslim, which is up from 11 per cent in March 2009.

    Only about one-third of the adults (34 per cent) say Obama is a Christian, down sharply from 48 per cent in 2009.

    The survey was completed in early August, before Obama's recent comments that appeared favouring the proposed construction of a mosque near the site of the former World Trade Center, the Center said.

    White House faith advisor attributed this to the misinformation campaign by his opponents.

    "While the President has been diligent and personally committed to his own Christian faith, there is certainly folks who are intent on spreading falsehood about the President and his values and beliefs," said Joshua DuBois, the White House faith advisor.
    The belief that Obama is a Muslim has increased most sharply among Republicans, especially conservative Republicans, while the number of independents who say Obama is a Muslim has also increased significantly.

    However, there has been little change in the number of Democrats who say Obama is a Muslim, Pew said.

    Read more: Every 5th American thinks Obama is a Muslim: Poll - US - World - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...im-Poll/articleshow/6335807.cms#ixzz0x4SZurwJ
  3. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

    May 10, 2010
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    Bihar, BanGalore , India
    Mosque debate divides Democrats, especially in NY

    NEW YORK: As vulnerable congressional Democrats weigh how to respond to President Barack Obama's statements on Muslims' right to build a mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks, those in New York and closest to the controversy are staying silent or scrambling away.

    Democrats control both of the state's US Senate seats and 27 of its 29 Congressional districts, but analysts believe as many as eight House Democrats in the state may be headed to defeat this year. Republicans, hoping to ease Democrats' grip on the state, insist the economy remains the major campaign issue but say the mosque flap could also help move voters their way.

    From eastern Long Island to more rural areas of northern New York state, House Democrats have been opposing the construction of a $100 million Islamic center two blocks from the World Trade Center site, referred to by many as ``ground zero.'' More than 2,700 people died there on Sept. 11, 2001, at the hands of Islamic terrorists, and the wound remains fresh for many New Yorkers who are still traumatized by the attacks or who lost loved ones that day.

    Developers of the planned Islamic center known as Park51 have plans for a 13-story structure featuring a pool, gym and 500-seat auditorium, as well as a mosque and Sept. 11 memorial. It's a project of the Cordoba Initiative, a New York-based nonprofit group that promotes greater understanding between Islam and the West.

    Obama told a largely Islamic crowd over Ramadan dinner last week that he believed Muslims have a right to build the mosque and practice their religion there. A day later, he said he wasn't passing judgment on the wisdom of building an Islamic center at that location.

    The latest Democrat to break with Obama is Rep. John Hall, a two-term incumbent expected to face a strong challenge from Republican Nan Hayworth in the 19th district north of New York City.

    In a statement released Wednesday, Hall said freedom of religion was essential to democracy but that he hoped the project would be constructed elsewhere.

    ``I think honoring those killed on Sept. 11 and showing sensitivity to their families, it would be best if the center were built at a different location,'' Hall said.

    Hall joins three other House Democrats believed to be vulnerable in November elections who have announced their opposition to the project.

    In eastern Long Island, four-term Rep. Tim Bishop said ground zero should be a symbol of interfaith understanding. If developers of the Islamic center are seeking such unity, they should move the project, he said.

    In Staten Island, the most conservative of New York City's five boroughs, Democratic Rep. Mike McMahon said the project was a local matter and shouldn't come under federal jurisdiction. Nonetheless, he said he hoped it would be moved.

    ``I believe a new location is the right compromise so that Muslim Americans can worship without eliciting feelings that push us away from our country's basic tenet of religious acceptance while the families of 9/11 victims obtain the peace of mind they deserve,'' McMahon said.

    A few vulnerable Democrats have chosen to stay silent on the matter, including Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei, Rep. Bill Owens in northern New York and Albany-area Rep. Scott Murphy.

    Murphy's Republican opponent, Chris Gibson, posted a statement on Facebook appearing to support the Islamic center project, saying, ``It's either all or nothing _ churches, mosques and synagogues should be treated the same.'' He later issued a clarification, saying he didn't think building a mosque near ground zero was a good idea.

    There was a bit of a role-reversal in the Utica-area district where two-term Rep. Mike Arcuri is facats wasn't surprising.

    ``The Democrats who are going to lose in 2010 are from moderate to conservative districts, so these are the Democrats who are trying to be very careful in their handling of this issue,'' Phillips said. ``They don't want to take an unpopular position on anything right now.''

    Indeed, Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who faces only token opposition as he seeks his 10th term, has been one of the most outspoken advocates of the project. Nadler's district includes the World Trade Center site.

    Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who faces a feisty primary challenge from attorney Reshma Saujani, announced her support for the Islamic Center two weeks ago but is being pushed by Saujani to speak out more forcefully. The primary is Sept. 14.

    ``This is a major debate unfolding in our city and country, and our leaders ... are weighing in with lukewarm statements,'' said Saujani, who strongly supports the project.

    The matter has even quieted the state's normally garrulous senior senator, Chuck Schumer, who is seeking re-election this year and has yet to weigh in on the controversy that is roiling the state. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is also facing voters this fall, has issued terse statements of support for the center but said she would also back efforts to move it if community members decided to do so.

    Meanwhile, New York Governor David Paterson, a Democrat, said Thursday that he believes support is growing for a possible land swap to provide an alternate site for the mosque.

    Paterson said in a radio interview that the law supports the developers' rights, but he believes momentum is building for a deal to switch the site. He has offered the possibility of state land as an alternative.

    He said the developers and his staff began discussing the possibility days ago, but the project's leader had to suspend the meeting because of travel plans. Paterson says he expects talks to resume.

    Read more: Mosque debate divides Democrats, especially in NY - US - World - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...y-in-NY/articleshow/6338683.cms#ixzz0x4Z7rkiy

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