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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Shortly before President Obama departs for a trip to the Middle East, a new national poll suggests that one in five Americans has a favorable view of Muslim countries.
That view compares with 46 percent of the people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey who say they have an unfavorable opinion of Muslim countries. That's up 5 percentage points from 2002, when 41 percent indicated that they had an unfavorable view.
The poll also suggests that most Americans suspect people in Muslim countries don't think highly of the United States. Nearly eight in 10 questioned say people in Muslim countries have a unfavorable opinion of the United States, with 14 percent saying Muslims hold a favorable view.
But the poll indicates Americans seem to be split on whether such negative opinions by Muslims matter. Fifty-three percent of those questioned say they think Muslim views of the United States matter greatly or moderately, with 47 percent saying that Muslim opinions of the United States don't matter very much or at all.
"The feeling seems to be mutual. We distrust Muslims. They distrust Americans. Views of Americans have not changed very much over the past seven years. There are some indications that Muslims' views of Americans have improved a bit since Barack Obama took office, but they are still not positive," said Bill Schneider, CNN senior political analyst.