The Pew Research Center: Post-September 11 Attitudes About Religion

December 6, 2001

Source: The Pew Research Center

On December 6, 2001, The Pew Research Center for People and the Press released its report on Post-September 11 attitudes. The report indicated: "The Sept. 11 attacks have increased the prominence of religion in the United States to an extraordinary degree, but not at the expense of acceptance of religious minorities. Fully 78% now say religion's influence in American life is growing -- up from 37% eight months ago and the highest mark on this measure in surveys dating back four decades. At the same time, the public has a better opinion of Muslim-Americans than it did before the attacks. Favorable views of Muslim-Americans have risen from 45% in March to 59% today, even though 40% of the public think the terrorists were motivated at least in part by religion when they carried out the Sept. 11 attacks." In the report's "Other Important Findings and Analyses" it is noted that "Despite higher favorability for Muslim-Americans, ratings for this group are still lower than those of the major Judeo-Christian religions." Further, "Islam remains largely unknown to most Americans, especially older and less-educated people. While 44% of those under age 30 say they know at least something about the Islamic faith, just 27% of those 65 and older say this. Nearly six-in-ten (59%) college graduates feel they know at least something about Islam, compared with 42% of those with some college education, and 25% of those who never attended college."