By Eric Kleefeld
The top-line result was definitely true 7%, probably true 24%, probably not true 36%, and definitely not true 25%. Among Republicans, however, it was definitely true 14%, probably true 38%, probably not true 33%, and definitely not true 7%.
By Evan McMorris-Santoro
Only 27% made the right choice and said Obama is a Christian. Twenty-seven percent is usually the kind of number associated with a fringe element. So what's the takeaway from Pew? Mainstream Republicans--the ones who make up the bulk of the party--at best doubt Obama's faith and at worst are completely wrong about it.
And to be a Muslim is not a good thing in the eyes of the Republican mainstream. More than 60% of Republicans surveyed by CBS last month had an unfavorable view of the faith, compared with 25% of Democrats and 39% of the total sample.
So the takeaway is this: a large chunk of Republicans think Obama is a Muslim, and more Republicans than not would say that being a Muslim is probably not a great character trait.
By Ahmed Rehab
First, they tried the "legal" route. When it became apparent that American Muslims had a constitutionally guaranteed right to religious, cultural, and communal services in lower Manhattan just like everyone else, they invoked the "sensitivity to the 9/11 families" line.
When it was argued that there is nothing insensitive about Muslims with no connection to 9/11 establishing a center two blocks away (unless you assume collective guilt), and that Muslims died in the Twin Towers, too, they tried to smear the center's imam as a radical.
Privately, however, there seems to be little such confusion. The reasons there are given clearly, and it turns out it is precisely what many of us have argued all along: opposition organizers are motivated by an ideological belief that "Islam is evil and must be stopped; America is Judeo-Christian."
That is the undisguised rallying cry on the private email listservs, the blogs, and the viral youtube videos administered by the right-wing oppositional leadership. On the prime time networks, they openly lie to the American people about harboring an anti-Muslim agenda, perhaps wishing to avoid being exposed for their religious intolerance.
On July 30, 2010, in Temecula, California, a group called the Southwest Riverside County (SWRC) Tea Party Citizens in Action had a protest outside of a warehouse facility currently being used by the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley. The Islamic Center is seeking to build a mosque on property that it purchased in 2005, so that it can move out of its temporary facilities. The Southwest Riverside County (SWRC) Tea Party Citizens in Action, other California Tea Party activists, and other protesters held a protest during the Friday Muslim worship services with bullhorns calling for "no more mosques in America," and telling worshipers to "go back home," "we don't want you here."
What does Islam have to do with the Tea Party's alleged goal of reducing the size of government? Absolutely nothing--which tells you that reducing the size of government isn't their goal.
If there was any doubt about the Republican/conservative/teabagger prejudice against Islam, these postings should end it. When people tell you they're concerned about sensitivity to 9/11 victims, there's a good chance they're lying. What they're really concerned about is devil-worshiping brown-skins taking America from them, the God-fearing white patriots who own it.
Comment: For more on Islamophobia, see White Christians Say What's Sacred and Muslim "Tribes" = Indian Tribes?! For more on what conservatives think, see Conservative Rallies = White Self-Pity and Tea Party Believes in Taking.
Below: Conservatives express themselves with bigoted imagery.