While a majority of Muslim Americans say they have endured suspicion and enhanced scrutiny since the 9/11 attacks nearly 10 years ago, a wide-ranging survey finds no indication of increased alienation and anger or rising support for Islamic extremism. On the contrary, majorities of Muslim Americans express concern about the possible rise of Islamic extremism, both here and abroad.
The public remains divided over whether Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers. Political and ideological divisions are wide, though. Most conservatives and Tea Party supporters link Islam with violence.
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans' views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
The public continues to express conflicted views of Islam.
Amid new revelations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI's job ratings for handling the scandal have plummeted.
The Democrats' image with respect to religion fell sharply among groups inclined to dislike their party's politics. Obama, though, is seen as friendlier to religion than is his party. Both fare better than do Hollywood, the media and scientists.
Nearly six-in-ten say Muslims are subject to a lot of discrimination, far more than say the same about Jews, evangelical Christians, atheists or Mormons. A new survey also finds the public is more likely to see differences rather than similarities between their own religion and every other religion tested, with the sole exception of Protestantism.
More than two months into Barack Obama's presidency, as many people incorrectly identify him as a Muslim as did so during the 2008 campaign with white evangelicals and Republicans most likely to misidentify his religious affiliation.
Currently, 61% of Americans say they have a favorable impression of the pontiff, up from 52% in late March, while views of his outreach to other faiths have also shown substantial improvement.
Mitt Romney's speech discussing the role of religion in American politics addressed a public among which many harbor doubts about his Mormon faith.