Survey: Americans’ Concern about Islamic Fundamentalism at Highest Level Since 2002

Americans are waking up to the dangers of Islam and a new poll finds that Americans are more concerned than ever about radical Islamic terror.

The percentage of Americans who perceive a threat from Islamic fundamentalism is at its highest level since 2002, according to new survey data from The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Key findings include:

Some of the findings:

  • The rise of the Islamic State and continued threat from related groups in the Middle East has heightened concerns about terrorist attacks. The percentage of Americans who perceive a “critical threat” from Islamic fundamentalism has increased 15 percentage points since the Council’s 2014 survey to 55 percent. This marks the highest level since 2002 survey results (the first Chicago Council Survey fielded after the September 11, 2001 attacks).
  • Americans rate the top threats facing the United States as the possibility of violent Islamic extremists groups carrying out a major terrorist attack in the United States (72 percent citing it as a critical threat) and international terrorism (69 percent, up from 63 percent in 2014).
  • By comparison, Americans regard only the threat of cyberattacks against U.S. computer systems (69 percent) as comparable to that posed by terrorism. Concerns about nuclear proliferation (59 percent) and Iran’s nuclear program (57 percent) remain high but no greater than they were in 2014.
  • To combat terrorist threats, majorities support using U.S. air strikes (77 percent), drone strikes (76 percent), assassinations of terrorist leaders (73 percent), attacks by U.S. ground troops (60 percent) and military assistance to Arab governments (58 percent).
  • Seven in 10 Americans (73 percent) expect the military action against ISIS to last longer than three years (19 percent say 1-3 years, and only 4 percent say it will take less than a year).
  • For the most part, Americans tend to believe that the U.S. government is “very” or “somewhat” prepared for terrorist threats (in every case, more say somewhat than very). Solid majorities believe the United States is at least somewhat prepared to deal with international terrorism (64 percent) and a major terrorist attack in the United States (63 percent). But narrower majorities say that the United States is prepared to deal with the continuing conflict in Syria (53 percent), Islamic fundamentalism (52 percent) and the rise of Islamic extremist groups in Iraq and Syria (52 percent).
  • Public concerns about the continuing conflict in Syria remain low with just 35 percent of Americans describing it as a critical threat, though this represents an 11 percentage point increase from 2014. Asked which outcome in Syria would be most threatening to U.S. interests, a majority see “a victory by Islamic extremist groups” (58 percent) as the most dangerous outcome, followed by “a continuing civil war” (27 percent) and “a victory by the regime of Bashar al-Assad” (7 percent).

Waking up, America.

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Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com, BigJournalsim.com and all Breitbart News' other sites, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, and many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs across the country to discuss his opinion editorials and current events as well as appearing on TV networks such as CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and various Chicago-based news programs. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston and follow him on Twitter, on Google Plus , and Facebook.

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