By Randy Krehbiel, Tulsa World

A majority of Oklahomans believe Islam is a violent religion that is far removed from Christianity, the most recent Oklahoma Poll found.

The survey, taken before voters overwhelmingly approved a state question banning Islamic Shariah law from state courts, revealed that fewer than one-quarter of Oklahomans have a favorable opinion of the Muslim religion.

Fifty-eight percent said Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence, and 61 percent said Muslims don’t worship the same God as Christians.

More than half agreed that Muslims should have the same rights as others to build houses of worship in local communities. However, 36 percent said local communities should have the right to prevent construction of houses of worship if they do not want them.

“I’m leery of any group that wants to kill Americans,” said poll respondent Janie Lloyd of Fort Gibson.

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Bill is the founder of SoonerPoll.com and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004. Under Bill’s leadership, SoonerPoll has become the leading public opinion polling company in the state of Oklahoma conducting more public opinion polls for Oklahoma news media than all other pollsters combined since 2006. Bill’s commitment to go above and beyond the AAPOR ethical guidelines of minimum disclosure ensures that SoonerPoll produces quality results every time. Bill has lectured at Oklahoma State University on developing polling methodologies, data collection processes, and advanced likely voter sampling techniques. Bill also serves as an on-air political commentator for Oklahoma television stations.

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