(JNi.media) The new Public Religion Research Institute poll, aptly titled “Anxiety, Nostalgia, and Mistrust: Findings from the 2015 American Values Survey,” released Tuesday, points out that a majority of American Christians believe Muslim values are at odds with American values and way of life.
Perceptions of Islam have turned more negative over the past few years. Today, 56% of Americans agree that the values of Islam are at odds with American values and way of life, while 41% disagree. Opinion on Islam’s compatibility with American values varies greatly by religious beliefs. 73% of white evangelical Protestants believe Islam is at odds with American values, compared with 63% of white mainline Protestants, 55% of black Protestants, 61% of Catholics and 41% of the religiously unaffiliated. In 2011, Americans were still about evenly divided in their views of Islam: 47% agreed, 48% disagreed it was at odds with American values.
With less than one year to go until the 2016 general election, the mood of the American people is marked by anxiety and mistrust, concludes the PRRI poll: more than 72% believe that the country is still in a recession, as they did in 2014. Americans are divided down the middle, 49-49% on whether America’s best days are ahead of us or behind them. They are pessimistic and anxious about crime, racial tensions, and immigration.
And they don’t trust Muslims. More than 60% of white Protestants and Catholics, 55% of African-American Protestants, and 56% of Americans overall see a split between American and Muslim values, up from 47% in 2011 and 2014.
The nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) conducted the 2015 American Values Survey among 2,695 Americans between September 11 and October 4, 2015. It measures public opinion about the economy, racial discrimination, the criminal justice system, trust in public institutions, perception of the Tea Party, the relationship between religious affiliation and political attitudes, views of immigrants, and how demographic changes impact the cultural landscape in the country.
Compared with a few years ago, Americans report less tolerance when encountering non-English speaking immigrants. 48% of Americans say they are bothered when they come into contact with immigrants who speak little or no English, compared with 40% in 2012. 63% of white working-class Americans say they feel bothered when they come into contact with immigrants who do not speak English, compared with 43% of white college-educated Americans.
73% of Donald Trump’s supporters say they are bothered by encounters with immigrants who speak little English. 69% of Trump supporters rate immigration as a critical issue to them personally, compared with only 50% of supporters of other Republican candidates.
The survey Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish between September 11 and October 4, 2015 among a random sample of 2,695 U.S. adults (age 18 and up). Interviews were conducted both online and by telephone. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 2.6% at the 95% level of confidence.