Opinions on the New York City Islamic Center/mosque controversy are sharply divided, depending on factors like age and political leanings, according to a new Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey.
A poll analysis called the contrasts in views stark, Republicans agree with those who object to building two blocks from the World Trade Center site, by a 74 to 17 percent margin. But Democrats say it should be allowed, by a 49 to 37 percent margin, and Independents side with the opponents, 50 to 37 percent.
Opinions also vary dramatically depending on age. Among those 18-29 years old, 36 percent side with those who object and 50 percent say it should be built. But among those over 65, 63 percent object and 21 percent say it should be allowed.
The survey was conducted August 19-22, after the controversy erupted. Margin of error for the entire poll is plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Other poll findings:
"Large majorities of Democrats (74 percent) and independents (65 percent) say that Muslims should have the same rights as other religious groups to build houses of worship. Republicans are closely divided: 47 percent say Muslims should have the same rights as other religious groups while nearly as many (42 percent) say local communities should be able to prohibit the construction of mosques if they do not want them.
Majorities of all age groups – except for those 65 and older – think that Muslims should have the same rights as other religious groups to build houses of worship. Fewer than half (48 percent) of those 65 and older express this view, while 33 percent say local communities should be able to block the construction of mosques."
To read the survey: http://pewforum.org/Muslim/Public-Remains-Conflicted-Over-Islam.aspx