Tags: opinion | of | muslims | poll

Poll: Scant Favor in U.S. for Muslim Countries

Tuesday, 02 Jun 2009 04:19 PM

By Ronald Kessler

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As President Barack Obama prepared to leave on a trip to the Middle East, a new nationwide poll revealed that only one in five Americans has a favorable view of Muslim countries.

On the other hand, 46 percent of the people questioned in the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey said they have an unfavorable opinion of Muslim countries — an increase of five percentage points from 2002.

Three in 10 said they have a neutral opinion of Muslim countries.

The poll also disclosed that nearly eight in 10 respondents believe people in Muslim countries have an unfavorable opinion of the U.S., with 14 percent saying Muslims hold a favorable view.

But 47 percent of those polled said Muslim opinions of the U.S. don't matter very much or at all.

More than six in 10 respondents don't think the U.S. is at war with the Muslim world, while 36 percent indicated that the country is at war with Muslim countries.

And six out of 10 think that the Muslim world considers itself at war with the U.S.

"The feeling seems to be mutual," said CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider. "We distrust Muslims. They distrust Americans."

Obama departs Tuesday night for a meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, then heads to Egypt where he'll deliver a speech on American relations with the Muslim world.

The trip will also include stops in Germany and France.

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