Maurice Carroll, Director
Quinnipiac University Polling Institute
Rubenstein Associates, Inc.,
Pat Smith (212) 843-8026
FOR RELEASE: JULY 1, 2010
NEW YORK CITY VOTERS OPPOSE MOSQUE NEAR GROUND ZERO, QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY POLL FINDS;
DOES MOSQUE FOSTER UNDERSTANDING OR INSULT 9/11 VICTIMS?
New York City voters oppose 52 – 31 percent a proposal by a Muslim group to build a mosque and cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Another 17 percent are undecided.
Opinions about the proposed mosque range from 46 – 36 percent support among Manhattan voters to 73 – 14 percent opposition in Staten Island, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.
Opposition to the mosque is 56 – 31 percent among white voters, 45 – 34 percent among black voters and 60 – 19 percent among Hispanic voters. Opposition among religious groups is 66 – 22 percent among Jews, 66 – 24 percent among white Catholics and 46 – 36 percent among white Protestants.
By a 44 – 28 percent margin, with 28 percent undecided, New York City voters say they have a generally favorable opinion of Islam. Voters with a favorable opinion of Islam support the mosque 54 – 30 percent while those with an unfavorable opinion oppose it 86 – 7 percent.
“New York enjoys a reputation as one of the most tolerant places in America, but New Yorkers are opposed to a proposal to build a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero. Is it because we’re still nursing the wounds from the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center or is it more like bigotry?” asks Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“Opponents suggest that the mosque would dishonor the memory of the attack’s victims.
“There’s little overt hostility to the religion of Islam, although Quinnipiac University’s borough-by-borough poll shows considerable variation.”
Quinnipiac University Poll/July 1, 2010 – page 2
“Liberal Manhattan accepts the mosque and trusts Islam. Staten Island, where there’s controversy about another proposed mosque, is more skeptical,” Carroll added.
Fifty-six percent of New York City voters, including 58 percent of whites, 50 percent of blacks and 48 percent of Hispanics, say they personally know a Muslim. A total of 52 percent say they understand Islam “very well” or “fairly well,” while 45 percent say “not very well.”
Mainstream Islam is a “peaceful religion,” 55 percent of New York City voters say, while 22 percent say Islam “encourages violence against non-Muslims.” Another 23 percent are undecided.
Those who personally know a Muslim say 68 – 17 percent that it is a peaceful religion but are divided on the mosque proposal, with 41 percent supporting it and 43 percent opposed.
Opinions on Islam as a peaceful or violent religion range from Manhattan, where voters say 68 – 12 percent that Islam is peaceful, to Staten Island, where voters say 48 – 29 percent that it is peaceful, from blacks, who say 61 – 12 percent it is peaceful, to whites who say 53 – 28 percent it is peaceful.
Jewish voters split as 42 percent say Islam is peaceful and 41 percent say Islam encourages violence. White Catholics say 48 – 31 percent it is peaceful, as do white Protestants 64 – 18 percent.
A mosque near Ground Zero would “foster understanding and teach people that not all Muslims are terrorists,” 42 percent of New York City voters say. Of this group, 68 percent support the mosque.
Another 42 percent of voters say the mosque “is an insult to the memory and families of 9/11 victims.” Of this group, 93 percent oppose the mosque.
From June 21 – 28, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,183 New York City registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research.