The New York Times
Tuesday published the result of a poll in North Carolina by Public
Policy Polling, or PPP indicating that 40 percent Republican voters answered
yes when asked: "Do you think the religion of Islam should be legal or illegal
in the United States?
Rightly, The New York Times' headline for the poll results was: New Poll Finds Anti-Muslim Sentiment Frighteningly High. The story, written by Lawrence Downes, says call it Trumpism, an ad hoc term for the cresting wave of white Republican resentment that Donald Trump has been surfing like Duke Kahanamoku.
"Some find it fascinating. Late night comics like Stephen Colbert have been treating it like it's hilarious. But a lot of people take Mr. Trump completely seriously, and support him fervently. So when do we start being frightened for this country?" Downes wrote.
According to the New York Times, among others, the following questions were asked in the North Carolina poll:
Do you think a Muslim should ever be allowed to be President of the United States, or not? Alarmingly, 72 percent said a Muslim should not be allowed to be President of the United States. Only 16 percent said a Muslim should be allowed.
Do you think the religion of Islam should be legal or illegal in the United States? The voters were evenly divided on this issue as 40 percent said Islam should be legal in the United States, while 40 percent said Islam should be illegal in the United States. 20 percent were not sure.
The Public Policy Polling press release of Tuesday said:
It's safe to say Ben Carson and Donald Trump's recent comments about Islam aren't going to hurt them too much with their base of supporters. 44% of Carson voters think Islam should be illegal in the United States, to only 38% who think it should be legal. And with Trump voters the numbers are even more extreme - 52% think Islam should be illegal to just 31% that believe it should be allowed. Republican voters in the state as a whole are evenly divided with 40% thinking the practice of Islam should be legal and 40% thinking it should not.
Given those numbers it's not surprising that on the more narrow issue of whether a Muslim should be allowed to serve as President, only 16% of Republicans say yes to 72% who say no. And this all feeds into a broader concern that President Obama is waging a war on Christianity - 72% express that sentiment to only 20% who disagree with it.
Public Policy Polling surveyed 1,268 voters from September 24th to 27th, including 605 Democratic primary voters and 576 Republican primary voters.
The New York Times writer asks:
Do these people know what it means to outlaw Muslim worship? Do they teach history in the North Carolina schools? Do they know what would happen if we closed mosques, arrested worshipers and prayer leaders, imposed religious tests for public office?
The debate of outlawing Islam in America is not new. In 2006 Islamophobe David Yerushalmi established, an anti-Muslim organization - the Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE) - to banish Islam from the US by making "adherence to Islam" punishable by 20 years in prison. Not surprisingly, Yerushalmi is behind the anti-Islam/anti-sharia legislations introduced in several states on the pretext of protecting us from the non-existent threat of Sharia law being imposed on the United States. Not surprisingly, SANE is listed as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).