Poll: Only Slight Rise in Concern About Islamic Extremism After Fort Hood

A new survey from Pew reveals only a modest rise in concerns about Islamic extremism.

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By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

A new Pew survey taken shortly after the November 5 shootings at Fort Hood shows a modest uptick in concerns about Islamic extremism in the United States and internationally but no dramatic surge in such worries. Slightly more than half of Americans (52 percent) reported being "very concerned about the possible rise of Islamic extremism in the United States," up from 46 percent in April 2007.

Check out this graph comparing fears about Islamic extremism in 2007 versus today:

Interesting to note that Pew found Americans paying very close attention to the Fort Hood shooting, with more following that story closely than any other, according to the group's News Interest Index.

These bits of Pew's analysis on the correlation between age and education and concerns about Islamic extremism jumped out at me:

Young people continue to express far lower levels of concern about the rise of Islamic extremism in the U.S. than do older age groups. Slightly more than a third of those younger than 30 (36%) say they are very concerned about this, compared with 60% of those 65 and older and 65% of those ages 50 to 64.

More than half of those with no college experience (55%) say they are very concerned about the possible rise of Islamic extremism in the U.S., compared with 46% of college graduates.

The survey is a joint project of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

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