Most Americans Support Hearings on U.S. Muslims

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WASHINGTON - Congress is expected to hold hearings next month on the growing number of Muslims in the U.S. becoming radicalized -- and many Americans support the investigation.

But are the hearings a good idea or are lawmakers unfairly targeting Muslims?

Robert Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute recently conducted a survey to get America's opinion.

The group found that overall, 56 percent of respondents agree with the hearings and only 29 percent see them as a bad idea.

Still, there is some disagreement on the issue.

"There really are important partisan divides, religious divides and also divides on media consumption here," Jones said.

For example, 71 percent of Republicans think the hearings are a good idea, but only 45 percent of Democrats.

Also 70 percent of white evangelicals -- who tend to be conservative -- favor the hearings, while only 50 percent of white mainline Protestants -- who tend to be liberal -- agree.

The news people are consuming also impacts their feelings towards Muslims.

"And what we found was a really significant Fox News effect on this particular question," Jones said.

  • 76 percent of Fox News fans are also fans of the hearings
  • Only 45 percent of those who favor CNN support the hearings

Overall, the general public seems conflicted.

"Americans are wrestling with both fears, I think, and fairness in how we treat American Muslims in the country," Jones explained.

  • 62 percent of respondents feel American Muslims are an important part of the country's religious community.
  • Yet, 46 percent also believe Muslims in the U.S. haven't done enough to oppose Islamic extremism.
  • Still, Only 22 percent of the general public believe American Muslims want to establish Islamic Sharia law in the U.S.

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Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Correspondent

Erick Stakelbeck is a sought after authority on terrorism and national security issues with extensive experience in television, radio, and print media. Stakelbeck is a correspondent and terrorism analyst for CBN News.  Follow Erick on Twitter @Staks33.