Americans Back Outreach to Muslim Nations

Americans Back Outreach to Muslim Nations

End of March 2009, the Washington Post and ABC News conducted a telephone survey in which they asked a random sample of 1,000 Americans about their perceptions of Muslims and Islam.

The release of the poll was timed around President Obama’s visit to Turkey. According to the poll, most Americans think Obama’s pledge to “seek a new way forward” with the Muslim world is an important goal, even as nearly half hold negative views about Islam.

Muslims make up about 1 percent of all U.S. adults and an overwhelming 81 % of Americans in the poll called it important for Obama to try to improve US relations with Muslim nations; 46 % say it’s “very important.”

There is a broad lack of familiarity with the world”s second-largest religion, 55 % of those polled said they are without a basic understanding of the teachings and beliefs of Islam, and most said they do not know anyone who is Muslim. While awareness has increased in recent years, underlying views have not improved.

The poll found that those who profess an understanding of Islam, or know a Muslim, have much more positive views of the religion.

This may be why President Obama said in Turkey: “The Untied States has been enriched by Muslim-Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their family, or have lived in a Muslim-majority country. I know, because I am one of them.”

It is also worth mentioning the way the Muslims perceive Obama’s administration as many Turks see Obama as a peace advocate, unlike his predecessor Bush. “I have a bad impression of America because they are so fond of making wars, but I think Obama can change that.” Yurdagul Oguzman, 29, told the Washington Post.

With Americans backing the outreach to the Muslim world and the Muslim world’s readiness of such outreach attempts carried out by Obama, I believe the whole scene of us and them is going to change and we will collaborate our efforts to make the world a better place for us and for generations to come.