(CBS) Although Americans believe they are better informed about Islam than they were five years ago, a new CBS News poll finds fewer than one in five say their impression of the religion is favorable. Forty-five percent of respondents queried April 6 – 9 said they have an unfavorable view of Islam, a rise from 36 percent in February. And the public’s impression of Islam has diminished even more compared with four years ago. In February 2002 – less than six months after the terrorist attacks of September 11 – the country was evenly divided in its impression of Islam. WHAT IS YOUR IMPRESSION OF ISLAM? FAVORABLE Now 19% 2002 30% UNFAVORABLE Now 45% 2002 33% Thirty-six percent of respondents said they haven’t heard enough or don’t know enough to say either way. Americans today are also more likely than not to believe that Islam encourages violence, at least in comparison to other religions around the world. The last few months have seen escalating sectarian violence between Shiite and Sunni Islamic factions in Iraq and the ongoing trial of Zacarias Moussaoui in the United States. The poll finds 46 percent of Americans believe Islam encourages violence more than other religions, compared with 39 percent of Americans who felt that way two months ago and 35 percent who felt that way in March 2002 (according to a Gallup Poll). When compared with some other religions practiced in America, positive views of Islam rank below those for mainstream Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, and Christian fundamentalist faiths. Only Scientology, of all the religions asked about, ranked lower. WHAT IS YOUR IMPRESSION OF…. PROTESTANTISM/OTHER CHRISTIANS Favorable 58% Unfavorable 12% Don’t Know 30% THE CATHOLIC RELIGION Favorable 48% Unfavorable 37% Don’t Know 15% THE JEWISH RELIGION Favorable 47% Unfavorable 16% Don’t Know 37% CHRISTIAN FUNDAMENTALISTS RELIGIONS Favorable 31% Unfavorable 31% Don’t Know 38% THE MORMON RELIGION Favorable 20% Unfavorable 39% Don’t Know 41% ISLAM Favorable 19% Unfavorable 45% Don’t Know 36% SCIENTOLOGY Favorable 8% Unfavorable 52% Don’t Know 40%

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