Journal Article

Religion and American Attitudes Toward Islam and an Invasion of Iraq

Corwin E. Smidt

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 66, issue 3, pages 243-261
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI:
Religion and American Attitudes Toward Islam and an Invasion of Iraq

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This paper analyzes, in the wake of 9/11, the religious basis of American responses to removing Saddam Hussein, invading Iraq, and perceiving Islam as a violent religion, by using national survey data gathered just several months prior to the actual invasion. There was overwhelming agreement among Americans that the only way to disarm Iraq was to remove Saddam Hussein. Nevertheless, despite this general consensus, responses to the removal of Hussein still clearly were colored by religious factors. Religious factors also shaped support for invading Iraq and views of Islam as a violent religion. The important effects of religion on such issues hold even in light of multivariate analyses, as religious variables tended to rival political variables and usually exceeded socio-demographic variables in explaining differences on such issues.

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Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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