Fewest Numbers of Americans Concerned about Terrorism since 9/11

Findings from the 2012 Chicago Council Survey of American Public Opinion

September 10, 2012 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fewer Americans are concerned about international terrorism as a “critical” threat to the United States than at any point since September 11, 2001, according to the 2012 Chicago Council Survey released today. While a majority is still worried, the intensity of concern about terrorism has steadily declined. At the same time, most Americans do not credit the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan with reducing the threat.

The survey report, Foreign Policy in the New Millennium, from The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, will be discussed by a panel of experts hosted by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars and NPR as part of The National Conversation series. For more information, download the reportwatch a live webcast of the event starting at 12:30 p.m. EST, and follow @ChicagoCouncil and @TheWilsonCenter for live updates.

While Americans consider the Middle East as the greatest source of future threats, they are gradually shifting their foreign policy focus towards Asia and a rising China, viewed as important more for their economic dynamism than as a potential threat. For the first time since the Council first asked the question in 1994, a majority of Americans (52%) see Asia as more important to the United States than Europe (47%).

The 2012 Chicago Council Survey finds that the views of “Millennials”—those between the ages of 18 and 29—are shifting in a more pronounced way than those of older Americans. They see the world as less threatening, and show less concern than other age groups about international terrorism (see figure), Islamic fundamentalism, and the development of China as a world power. Millennials also favor a less activist approach to foreign policy, with a slight majority (52%) saying the United States should “stay out” of world affairs, compared to just 35 percent among older age groups.

When looking at partisan differences, the 2012 Chicago Council Survey finds that political polarization on many aspects of U.S. foreign policy is overstated. Opinions in “red” and “blue” districts overall are similar. While the parties often differ in degree, there is generally consensus among the majorities. Independents, however, distance themselves from both Republicans and Democrats. They are less likely than both to support an active U.S. role in global affairs and less likely to view U.S. leadership as “very” desirable.

Other key findings of the 2012 Chicago Council Survey include:

•         Just over half (54%) support an attack by U.S. ground troops against terrorist training camps and facilities, down from 82 percent in 2002.

•         Majorities oppose the UN authorizing a strike on Iran (51% opposed), oppose a unilateral U.S. strike on Iran (70% opposed), and do not want to get involved in a potential Iran-Israel war (59% opposed).

•         To deal with the crisis in Syria, majorities of Americans support diplomatic and economic sanctions (63%) as well as a no-fly zone in Syria (58%).

More than 1,800 Americans were surveyed for the 2012 Chicago Council Survey.  The 2012 Chicago Council Survey was made possible by generous support from the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the Korea Foundation, and the United States-Japan Foundation.

###

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, founded in 1922, is a prominent, independent and nonpartisan organization committed to influencing the discourse on global issues through contributions to opinion and policy formation, leadership dialogue, and public learning.  The Chicago Council has been conducting nationwide public opinion surveys on American views on foreign policy since 1974.  These surveys provide insights into the current and long-term foreign policy attitudes of the American public on a wide range of global topics.

Report: U.S. Mosques ‘Healthy and Growing,’ Active in Interfaith and Outreach Activities

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/20/12) –- The second installment in a series of reports based on the U.S. Mosque Survey 2011 released today indicates that Islamic houses of worship are “healthy and growing” and are engaged in a high level of educational, interfaith and outreach activities.

A coalition of major American Muslim and academic organizations sponsored the comprehensive study of mosques and the attitudes of mosque leaders in the United States from which the latest report, titled “The American Mosque 2011: Activities, Administration and Vitality of the American Mosque,” was compiled.

To view the entire report, click here.

To conduct the survey, researchers counted all mosques in America and then conducted telephone interviews with a sample of mosque leaders. (The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.)

Major findings of the report released today include:

* Full-time Islamic schools have experienced significant growth in the past decade.

* Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of mosques indicated that they have hosted an open house for their neighbors of other faiths in the past 12 months.

* The majority of mosques (70 percent) use only English for the main message of the khutbah (sermon).

* The vast majority (88 percent) of American mosque leaders say domestic abuse should be addressed.

* In terms of social services, mosques compare very well with other religious congregations. For example, surveys show that only 26 percent of congregations of other faith traditions are involved in providing some type of health programing as compared to 45 percent of mosques. Only 29 percent of other religious congregations are involved in community organizing activities, while 47 percent of mosques are involved in these types of activities.

* A majority of mosque leaders (71 percent) agreed that their mosque is working for social justice. African American mosques are the most likely (87 percent) to be active in social justice.

* The role of the religious leader (Imam) is becoming more professionalized.

* The percentage of mosques unaffiliated with any national organization has increased significantly over the past few decades.

The report also outlines challenges faced by American mosques, including:

* Mosques need support and inspiration in establishing and strengthening weekend schools and youth activities.

* Mosques need to be made more women-friendly.

* The American Muslim community needs its own institutions to increase the number of American-born Imams and to supplement the training of Imams from abroad.

The first report based on the U.S. Mosque Survey 2011, released earlier this year, showed that the number of American mosques increased 74 percent since 2000 and that Islamic houses of worship are ethnically-diverse institutions led by officials who advocate positive civic engagement. A third report on women in American mosques is forthcoming.

SEE: The American Mosque 2011

Sponsors of the U.S. Mosque Survey 2011 include: The Hartford Institute for Religion Research (Hartford Seminary), the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North American (ISNA), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).

The U.S. Mosque Survey 2011 is part of a larger study of American congregations called Faith Communities Today (FACT), which is a project of Cooperative Congregational Studies Partnership, a multi-faith coalition of denominations and faith groups.

Immigrant Citizens Survey: perceptions of the immigrants about integration

23 may 2012

 

 

The Immigrant Citizens Survey (ICS) was presented at the headquarters of the European Commission Representation in Spain. The survey was directed from Brussels by the King Baudouin Foundation and the Migration Policy Group, in collaboration with the CIDOB in Spain and the Centre for Sociological Research (CIS). The ICS is the first international survey which reflects the opinion of immigrants on the facilities and difficulties encountered when integrated into the host society.
“The results of the ICS are striking because they show that the vision of immigrants on their situation is more positive than expected,” said Jordi Vaquer, director of CIDOB, during the presentation.
The survey of more than 7,000 immigrants with authorized residence status in 15 cities and in 7 EU countries (Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy and Portugal) was done in the late 2011 and reveals what immigrants think on key integration policies. The study focuses on analyzing the perception of immigrants on issues such as residence permits, citizenship, family reunification, labor market, social participation and education, among others.

Immigrant Citizens Survey: perceptions of the immigrants about integration

23 may 2012

 

 

The Immigrant Citizens Survey (ICS) was presented at the headquarters of the European Commission Representation in Spain. The survey was directed from Brussels by the King Baudouin Foundation and the Migration Policy Group, in collaboration with the CIDOB in Spain and the Centre for Sociological Research (CIS). The ICS is the first international survey which reflects the opinion of immigrants on the facilities and difficulties encountered when integrated into the host society.
“The results of the ICS are striking because they show that the vision of immigrants on their situation is more positive than expected,” said Jordi Vaquer, director of CIDOB, during the presentation.
The survey of more than 7,000 immigrants with authorized residence status in 15 cities and in 7 EU countries (Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy and Portugal) was done in the late 2011 and reveals what immigrants think on key integration policies. The study focuses on analyzing the perception of immigrants on issues such as residence permits, citizenship, family reunification, labor market, social participation and education, among others.

The main results in Spain reveal both positive aspects of the situation of immigrants in the country and others could be improved. Among the positive aspects are:

– The immigrants say they have found few problems when applying for permanent residence, nationality or family reunification.

– There is less difficulty finding work in the two Spanish cities than in many other European cities like Milan, Brussels and Paris.

– The main issues raised at the time of finding work are the temporary contracts and jobs in the underground economy, but there is a low incidence of discrimination.

– In general, they find little trouble when learn Castilian, compared to the problems that immigrants manifest in other European countries while trying to learn the local/ national language.

– There is a greater intention to vote and to potential electoral inclusion than in countries like Germany or Belgium.

Among the areas for improvement include:

– To the majority of the interviewed immigrants to have a permanent residence did not help them in anything to get employment (worse than in other countries).

– Between one quarter and one third of immigrants are over-qualified for their jobs.

– Working conditions prevent immigrants to improve their training.

– In terms of participation and representation, it should be noted that membership in associations, unions and parties is relatively low in the Spanish cities.

– The majority believe that there is a need to have more members of immigrant origin in national parliaments.

Survey finds deep mistrust for Muslims in Canada

News Agencies – March 26, 2012

A new poll shows that more than half of all Canadians distrust Muslims. The nationwide survey indicates that as many as 52 percent of Canadians feel Muslims can be trusted “a little” or “not trusted at all.” The poll showed that 48 percent of respondents said Muslims can be trusted “a lot” or “somewhat.”

What’s more, 42 percent of Canadians said discrimination against Muslims is “mainly their fault.” Muslims registered the lowest levels of trustworthiness of the religious groups asked about in the survey. Overall, about 70 percent of respondents expressed high levels of trust in Protestants, Catholics and Jews, while 64 percent trusted aboriginal Canadians and 63 percent trusted immigrants.

Among French Canadians, only 30 percent said they trust Muslims, compared with 57 percent of English speakers who said they felt that way.  The online poll surveyed 1,522 Canadians on attitudes toward religions, multiculturalism and sources of racism. The survey was conducted for the Association for Canadian Studies in Montreal and the Toronto-based Canadian Race Relations Foundation as part of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21.

2030: The year Britain will cease to be a Christian nation with the march of secularism

The march of secularism means Britain may no longer be a Christian country in just 20 years, a report said yesterday.

If trends continue, the number of non-believers is set to overtake the number of Christians by 2030. Research by the House of Commons Library found that while Christianity  has declined, other religions have seen sharp increases.
In the last six years, the number of Muslims has surged by 37 per cent to 2.6million; Hindus by 43 per cent and Buddhists by 74 per cent. But the number of Sikhs and Jewish believers fell slightly.

The researchers said the number of Christians had only held up to the extent it has because of high levels of immigration over the last decade.

Secularists argue that Christians should no longer have privileged access in Parliament when the number who believe in God is declining so sharply.

Researchers came to their conclusion after studying the Labour Force Survey, which is carried out every year by the Office for National Statistics. It is the most authoritative survey because of its regularity and its large sample size of 50,000.

It found that in 2010 there were around 41.1million Christians in Britain – down 7.6 per cent over the past six years. There were around 13.4million non-believers, up 49 per cent over the same period.

The study, Religion in Great Britain, concludes: ‘Between the fourth quarter of 2004 and the fourth quarter of 2010, the Christian  population fell from 78.0 per cent of the population to 69.4 per cent, while the group of people with no religion grew from 15.7 per cent to 22.4 per cent.

‘If these populations continue to shrink and grow by the same number of people each year, the number of people with no religion will overtake the number of Christians in Great Britain in 20 years, on this measure of religious affiliation.’

Religion in Prisons: A 50-State Survey of Prison Chaplains

From the perspective of the nation’s professional prison chaplains, America’s state penitentiaries are a bustle of religious activity. More than seven-in-ten (73%) state prison chaplains say that efforts by inmates to proselytize or convert other inmates are either very common (31%) or somewhat common (43%). About three-quarters of the chaplains say that a lot (26%) or some (51%) religious switching occurs among inmates in the prisons where they work. Many chaplains report growth from religious switching in the numbers of Muslims and Protestant Christians, in particular.

Overwhelmingly, state prison chaplains consider religious counseling and other religion-based programming an important aspect of rehabilitating prisoners. Nearly three-quarters of the chaplains (73%), for example, say they consider access to religion-related programs in prison to be “absolutely critical” to successful rehabilitation of inmates. And 78% say they consider support from religious groups after inmates are released from prison to be absolutely critical to inmates’ successful rehabilitation and re-entry into society. Among chaplains working in prisons that have religion-related rehabilitation or re-entry programs, more than half (57%) say the quality of such programs has improved over the last three years and six-in-ten (61%) say participation in such programs has gone up.

At the same time, a sizable minority of chaplains say that religious extremism is either very common (12%) or somewhat common (29%) among inmates. Religious extremism is reported by the chaplains as especially common among Muslim inmates (including followers of the Nation of Islam and the Moorish Science Temple of America) and, to a substantial but lesser degree, among followers of pagan or earth-based religions such as Odinism and various forms of Wicca. (See Glossary.) An overwhelming majority of chaplains, however, report that religious extremism seldom poses a threat to the security of the facility in which they work, with only 4% of chaplains saying religious extremism among inmates “almost always” poses a threat to prison security and an additional 19% saying it “sometimes” poses a threat.

Gallup Survey: Christianity Remains Dominant Religion in the United States

Majority still says religion is very important in their lives
by Frank Newport

PRINCETON, NJ — This Christmas season, 78% of American adults identify with some form of Christian religion. Less than 2% are Jewish, less than 1% are Muslim, and 15% do not have a religious identity. This means that 95% of all Americans who have a religious identity are Christians.

Bottom Line:

The United States remains a predominantly Christian nation, with 78% of all adults identifying with a Christian faith, and more than 9 in 10 of those who have a religious identity identifying as Christians. Fifteen percent of Americans do not have a formal religious identity, a continuation of a dramatic change from 50 and 60 years ago, when almost all Americans identified with a particular religion. The precise implications of the increase in the “no religious identity” segment are not clear, given that more than 9 in 10 Americans say they believe in God, and that 8 in 10 say religion is a very or fairly important part of their lives.

New Survey Reveals: Britain’s Muslims Proud and Optimistic

21./22.11.2011
Results of a new survey conducted by the British think tank Demos show that British Muslims feel a greater sense of pride in being British than the population as a whole and that they are significantly more optimistic about the country’s future. The poll of 2000 people was designed to explore what symbolised the best of Britain. More specifically, according to a Demos representative, they were looking ‘to find out what made people proud of modern Britain and why politicians fail to articulate a convincing vision of this’.

The survey then found that 83% of Muslim respondents agreed with the statement that they were proud to be a British citizen, compared to the national average of 79%. These figures help to shatter the prevailing myth that Britain’s Muslims are not patriotic, but dissatisfied with and in the UK.

Canadian Survey Suggests Tensions between “Muslim-Western worlds”

The National Post – September 12, 2011

A majority of Canadians believes conflict between Western nations and the Muslim world is “irreconcilable,” according to a new national survey that revealed a strong strain of pessimism in the country. The survey of 1,500 Canadians, conducted over three days for the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies, showed 56% of respondents see Western and Muslim societies locked in an unending ideological struggle, while about 33% held out hope the conflict will eventually be overcome.

Another 11% of those polled didn’t answer the question. ACS executive director Jack Jedwab said the finding has “serious ramifications” for Canadian policies aimed at bridging divides between cultures, which are based on the premise that citizens believe significant progress in mending such religious and cultural conflicts is achievable.

The results also confirm the findings of other recent surveys highlighting Canadians’ ongoing anxiety about the state of security in the post-9/11 world and their deep doubts about whether the long and bloody war in Afghanistan has done much to thwart the threat of terrorism.