According to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, Democrats are more likely to think Muslims are mistreated in the United States than they are to say Christians are mistreated in the Muslim world. Even though a majority of Americans acknowledge Christian persecution in the Middle East, Democrats seem more worried about Muslim persecution in America.
Nearly two-thirds of likely U.S. voters (62 percent) told pollsters that Christians are mistreated in the Islamic world because of their religion, Rasmussen reported. Only 17 percent disagreed, while 21 percent were undecided. Most voters said yes when asked “are most Christians living in the Islamic world treated unfairly because of their religion?”
Meanwhile, only 39 percent said that most Muslims living in the U.S. are treated unfairly because of their religion (or ethnicity). This was an increase from last year, when 31 percent said so. A plurality of Americans reported that Muslims are not treated unfairly because of their faith, while 15 percent said they were not sure.
A full majority of Democrats (56 percent) said that most Muslims in America are mistreated, while only 47 percent of them said that most Christians in the Muslim world are mistreated.
Meanwhile, only 22 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of unaffiliated voters said most Muslims faced persecution in the U.S., while 76 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of the unaffiliated said most Christians in the Muslim world faced persecution.
Like Democrats, women were more likely than men to think most American Muslims are mistreated, but they were less likely than men to believe Christians are mistreated in the Muslim world. Nearly as many voters under 40 (51 percent) said Muslims are mistreated in America as those who said Christians are mistreated in the Muslim world (57 percent).
A majority of black voters (52 percent) reported that most Muslims in the U.S. are unfairly treated, compared to 37 percent of whites and 42 percent of other minority voters.
Most voters who did not believe Muslims in the U.S. are mistreated insisted that most Christians living in the Islamic world are persecuted (76 percent said this). Among those who think Muslims in America are mistreated, only 56 percent agreed that Christians suffer persecution in Muslim countries.
It is interesting that Democrats seem blind to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, especially after former Secretary of State John Kerry officially condemned the Islamic State’s (ISIS) genocide against Christians last year. Churches have been burned and families attacked in Egypt. Even dead Christians are denied burial in Turkey and Kyrgyzstan. Islamic extremism is the cause behind Christian persecution in 35 of the 50 worst countries for Christians in 2016, according to a report from Open Doors.
Christians have been beheaded on tape for their faith by the Islamic State, while many of the “hate crimes” against Muslims in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election have been revealed as hoaxes. No patriotic American should attack someone on the basis of his or her faith, and most know better. By contrast, attacks on Christians are terrifyingly common across the Middle East, with Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan ranking among the worst countries for Christians.
Rasmussen’s poll did not exactly ask two parallel questions. For Christians in the Muslim world, voters were asked whether most were persecuted because of their religion, but for Muslims in America, ethnicity was added to the question. “Are most American Muslims living in this country treated unfairly because of their religion and ethnicity?”
This addition might help to explain why Democrats and black voters were more likely to say American Muslims were persecuted — the question was not just about religion, but about race too.
In any case, it is important for all Americans to recognize that the persecution in the Middle East (against both Christians and Muslims who disagree with the version of Islam pushed by the government or by radical terror groups) is a great deal worse than whatever Christians and Muslims suffer in the United States.
The Rasmussen poll surveyed 1,000 likely voters between February 2 and 5, 2017, both online and through phone calls. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.