A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey revealed that sixty-nine percent of Americans would, at the very least, be "okay" with a mosque in their community, as opposed to twenty-eight percent who do not believe in freedom of religion, or do not care what the religious structure represents. The relatively high degree of acceptance could be a byproduct of time healing wounds, as well as sheer fatigue from extreme xenophobic rhetoric and Tea-Party alarmism.
Out of the 1,023 people polled, forty-six percent had a favorable view of American Muslims, while twenty-six percent had an unfavorable view. This contrasts with the thirty-nine percent favorability rating in 2002, when post-9/11 feelings were much more raw.
American attitudes toward Islam as a whole haven't deviated too much since the 2002 poll, with thirty-three percent today holding a favorable view, compared to twenty-eight percent then.
Regional differences in attitude are highlighted by the survey, with fully half of rural Southerners (who have to contend with Deliverance-type stereotypes themselves) not cottoning to the idea of a neighborhood mosque, while forty-two percent fall in the "okay" camp. That number, though, jumps to around seventy-five percent among suburban and city dwellers.
All in all, a pretty respectable showing for tolerant Americans able to recognize a bad-apple minority without writing off an entire faith.