Survey: Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Thinks Obama Is Muslim


obama-muslimA new survey reports a sharp increase in the number of Americans who say President Obama is a Muslim. The increase has occurred over the last couple of years, and the poll was taken before the president stepped into the fray of the Ground Zero mosque controversy.The findings are part of the “Religion, Politics and the President” poll conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life early this month. It also explores Americans’ attitudes toward religion’s impact on society and voting preferences in the upcoming 2010 congressional races.

According to the survey, nearly one in five Americans (18 percent) say Obama is a Muslim, up from 11 percent in 2009. Obama is a Christian, but the number of people say Christian when asked his religion has gone down sharply, from 51 percent in 2008 to 34 percent today. And 43 percent say they don’t know what religion the president follows.

Alan Cooperman, associate director of research for the Pew Forum, says, “I think overall the picture that we see is of uncertainty and confusion about the president and religion.”

Cooperman also says, “When we simply ask people, ‘Do you happen to know what is Barak Obama’s religion?’ it is only one-third of Americans who say he is a Christian. The largest single percentage, almost half of Americans, don’t know what religion he is.”

The survey also found there was a clear link between how people viewed the president’s faith and how they viewed his political performance. Those who view Obama as Christian tended to have a very positive assessment of his job performance. Those who don’t know his faith are split in their job approval ratings. And those who say the president is a Muslim give him a negative job approval rating.

But Dr. Clyde Wilcox, professor of government at Georgetown University, says what is driving the president’s sinking approval ratings is the economy. “If the economy were resurrected from the dead like Lazarus, then you would see less of this,” he said.

Wilcox added that because of the viral nature of the Internet, any ideas, wrong or right, about a politician’s beliefs, can grow exponentially. Case in point: Sarah Palin’s conservative evangelical beliefs became raw meat for liberals during her 2008 vice presidential campaign.

Two years later, a growing number of people see Obama as a Muslim.

“It’s a troubling thing,” Wilcox said. “I think it would be good for all of us to stop invading the president’s spiritual privacy. We don’t know what anyone’s true faith is. It doesn’t tell us about what their true core values are.”

Cooperman speculates that people have more uncertainty about the president’s faith because he’s been less upfront about how he practices his religion. He doesn’t attend church regularly, and there are no photos of him leaving a house of worship on Sunday morning with a Bible in hand.

“We really haven’t heard a lot, he’s not very public since he took office. The last time was the issue over Jeremiah Wright,” Cooperman said.

Wright, the pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Chicago, became a lightning rod for controversy in the 2008 presidential campaign. Obama, a longtime member of his church, distanced himself from Wright after snippets of sermon tapes emerged of the pastor saying inflammatory comments about America.

The Pew study also found that though the Republican party is viewed as friendlier toward religion than the Democratic party, both political camps lost ground in that category. In 2008, 52 percent viewed Republicans as being friendlier toward religion; today that number is down to 43 percent.

For Democrats, 2008 was a banner year. Their push to capture religious voters helped them appear more faith friendly with 38 percent of the people polled. But that number has slid to 26 percent today, back to where it was in 2006.

What this bodes for the 2010 midterm elections is hard to predict, Cooperman says. Most Americans, 61 percent, still think it’s important for members of Congress to have strong religious beliefs, as compared to 34 percent who don’t. Reading the tea leaves from the 2008 results can help. Exit polling data from that presidential election shows that the second biggest predictor for how someone will vote is religion. The first is race.

{FoxNews/ Newscenter}


  1. According to Islam itself, Obama is not 50% or even 99% but 100% MUSLIM no matter what Church he does or doesn’t go to

  2. This article shows that 20% of Americans think Obama is a Muslim despite that while obama was alive his father was always an atheist and his mother was always an atheist ( an American born white christian).
    This is in line with 30% of new yorkers in one poll, and 28% in another poll, not believing the developers have a right to build the mosque.
    This reminds me that Americans in the 40 + percentile who were polled in 2004 and 2007 by an established U.S. poll found that about 43% of Americans believed that America found WMD when GW Bush invaded Iraq in 2003.
    That goes in line with the consistent polls that 40% or so of Americans think Obama wasn’t born in the United States. That’s in line with the approximately 50 % of Americans polled this year – 2010- thought Obama was the president under whom TARP was passed to bail out Wall Street.
    Since all these numbers are overwhelmingly Republicans it means that republican voters are overwhelmingly more tsufloygen than non republican voters.
    almost 1/2 of Americans are beyond Tsufloygen.

  3. Religion for ‘Dummies”

    He’s an Athiest and here’s proof.

    He’s not a Muslim

    He didn’t have any influence from the very Reverend Wright who’s a Cristian (yes i know how to spell ” Hamaivin Yuvin’)

    He doesn’t know where he was born

    His Shvigger lives with him

    He want’s the Mosque and now he doesn’t