The findings that indicate many Americans have a dim outlook on Islam come as President Obama sent a formal request to Congress on Wednesday to authorize the use of military force to combat the Islamic State. Meanwhile, police in North Carolina tried to determine whether the shooting deaths of three Muslim students were hate-motivated.
Forty-five percent of 1,000 senior Protestant pastors surveyed say the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, “gives a true indication of what an Islamic society looks like.” Forty-seven percent disagreed with the statement, according to LifeWay, a Nashville-based, non-profit Christian research group. LifeWay surveyed only clergy who identified themselves as the top pastoral officials in their organizations.
The pastors had a much darker view of Islam than Americans at large. In contrast, in the second survey, 27% of Americans say the Islamic State reflects the true nature of Islamic society.