U.S. Rep. Peter King’s hearings play to fears that Al Qaeda is fomenting homegrown terrorism in the United States. How much do Americans really fear the threat of domestic Muslim terrorism?
No one has a monopoly on homegrown terrorism. Since 9/11, we’ve seen terrorism by white supremacists, anti-government/tax extremists (which we covered last year), Christian extremists, Jewish extremists, and more. But the possibility of homegrown Muslim terrorism seems to strike a special anxiety in the hearts of many Americans.
How concerned are you that people who have become U.S. citizens will attempt to commit terrorist acts here? Rasmussen Reports asked this question in a national survey conducted earlier this month. About a third (33%) say they are very concerned, with an additional third (31%) saying they are somewhat concerned. That’s about two of every three Americans.
About four of ten Americans (39%) say the government does not focus enough on the potential threat from domestic Islamic terrorism. About the same say the focus is about right.
More than half (57%) say that American Muslims do not speak out enough against potential terrorists attacks in the United States. About one-third say they are unsure one way or the other.
At the same time, two-thirds (63%) say American Muslims are not treated unfairly because of their religion and ethnicity.
But 53% say they are very or somewhat concerned that efforts to identify and arrest domestic terrorists will end up violating the civil rights of some U.S. citizens. (Forty-three percent are not very concerned or not at all concerned, the poll finds.)
Where do you stand on these questions?
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(Originally published at www.OurValues.org, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.)