Home > Spotlight Analysis > PRRI in the News: National Coverage of February PRRI/RNS Survey
PRRI in the News: National Coverage of February PRRI/RNS Survey
The results from the February PRRI/RNS Religion News Survey released last week have been popping up in newspapers and on blogs across the country.  The survey, conducted by Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service, reveals three powerful forces shaping how the public thinks about these hearings and American Muslims: fear, fairness, and Fox News. Click the links below to see what the media is saying about it.


Religion News Service
Nicole Neroulias
Americans haven’t heard much about upcoming congressional hearings on the radicalization of U.S. Muslims, yet more than half think it’s a good idea, and nearly as many believe Muslims here haven’t done enough to fight extremists in their midst, according to a new poll.
At the same time, 62 percent say American Muslims are an important part of the religious community, and a clear majority—72 percent—say Congress should investigate religious extremism anywhere it exists, not just among Muslims, according to a PRRI/RNS Religion News Poll released Wednesday (Feb. 16).

CNN Belief Blog

Stephen Prothero
According to a new poll, a slim majority – 56 percent – of Americans support upcoming congressional hearings into alleged extremism in the U.S. Muslim community. However, nearly three-quarters – 72 percent – think Congress should not look for religious extremism only among American Muslims.
These hearings on “the radicalization of the American Muslim community and homegrown terrorism” are being overseen by Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York and the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. They are slated to begin March 7.

Washington Post: The Plum Line

Greg Sargent
The other day, a number of groups called on Pete King to broaden his planned hearings into Muslim extremism to include other extremists, including ones of the home-grown variety. King scoffed loudly at the demand, dismissing it as “political correctness at its worst.”
But it turns out that according to a new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, a solid majority of Americans hew to the “politically correct” view, and think it’s a better idea to broaden such hearings so they don’t single out Muslims.
Houston Chronicle
Kate Shellnutt
More than half of Americans agree with Congressional plans to hold hearings to investigate alleged extremism among Muslims living in the U.S., according to a recent poll.
When asked about the hearings — proposed by Rep. Peter King, the Republican chair of the House Homeland Security Committee — 56 percent of people said they were a good idea, with the highest levels of support from Republicans and Fox News viewers, the Public Religion Research Institute and the Religion News Service found.
Alex Pareene
Rep. Peter King’s, R-N.Y., forthcoming hearings on the supposed radicalization of American Muslims may end up being slightly less hysterical than they sounded when he proposed the idea.
King is a loudmouthed creep who frequently says bigoted things about American Muslims, but he looks like he’s actually treading carefully when it comes to his hearings. To the dismay of some of his ideological peers, who were hoping their feverish imaginings about the American Muslim menace would be lent credence by the House of Representatives, King has declined to call some of the more extreme anti-Islam cranks to testify, and he has invited the participation of Muslim congressman Keith Ellison.
Religion Dispatches
Sarah Posner
Public Religion Research Institute is out with a new poll on Americans’ attitudes towards the hearings planned by House Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Peter King (R-NY) into what he claims is extremism in the American Muslim community.
While the headline on the survey results is “Majority of Americans Say Congressional Hearings on Alleged Extremism In Muslim Communities Are ‘Good Idea,'” the data actually show not that many respondents had actually heard about King’s hearings. The group that was most likely to have heard about them: Fox News viewers.
New York Observer
David Freedlander
A poll out today by the Public Religion Research Institute shows that 56% of Americans back Long Island Congressman’s Peter King’s hearings into radicalization among American Muslims.
But more than 7 in 10 say that they want the hearings to focus on extremisms from other religious groups as well.
American Prospect
Adam Serwer
Greg Sargent points out that a new public opinion poll from the Public Religion Research Institute shows that a majority, 56 percent of Americans, support Congressional hearings into Islamic extremism. Rep. Peter King’s approach of singling out American Muslims for scrutiny is less popular. Seventy-two percent support broader hearings while only 22 percent say it should only focus on American Muslims.
But that’s not the only interesting result. The right wing conspiracy theory that American Muslims want to establish Sharia law in the U.S. appeals to a rather defined group.