Washington: A new survey has found that nearly one in five Americans incorrectly believe that President Barack Obama is a Muslim.
Obama’s religion, like his place of birth, has been the subject of Internet-spread rumours and falsehoods since before he began his presidential campaign.
According to a new Pew Research Center survey, 18 per cent of the Americans now say that Obama is a Muslim, which is up from 11 per cent in March 2009.
It also found that the number of people who now correctly identify Obama as a Christian has dropped to 34 percent, down from 48 per cent in 2009.
The survey was completed in early August, before Obama’s recent comments that appeared favouring the proposed construction of a mosque near the site of the former World Trade Center, the Center said.
Meanwhile, White House officials have expressed dismay over the poll results, blaming it on “misinformation campaigns” by the President’s opponents.
“While the president has been diligent and personally committed to his own Christian faith, there’s certainly folks who are intent on spreading falsehoods about the president and his values and beliefs,” The Washington Post quoted Joshua DuBois, Director of the President’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, as saying.