Tuesday, April 24, 2007

PIPA/WorldPublicOpinion.org poll

David Seaton's News Links
The report excerpted below is a "must read", if ever there was one. It holds the keys to the future of relations with the 1.3 billion of the world's Muslims.

The majority of Muslims polled believe that their religion itself is under attack from the United States. They sympathize with many of Al Qaeda's goals, but feel that killing civilians is forbidden by Islam. They also are in favor of living under the Sharia (strict Muslim law), at the same time they are not against democracy or globalization.

My reading of this poll would be that the best way of defeating Islamic terrorism would be to stop fighting the idea of Islamic government in itself, but rather to strongly support that majority of orthodox Muslims that believe that harming civilians is forbidden by the Koran.

In short orthodox Islam is not our enemy, quite to the contrary, it is our essential ally. DS

Muslims Believe US Seeks to Undermine Islam - World Public Opinion org
Abstract: An in-depth poll of four major Muslim countries has found that in all of them large majorities believe that undermining Islam is a key goal of US foreign policy. Most want US military forces out of the Middle East and many approve of attacks on US troops there. Most respondents have mixed feelings about al Qaeda. Large majorities agree with many of its goals, but believe that terrorist attacks on civilians are contrary to Islam. There is strong support for enhancing the role of Islam in all of the countries polled, through such measures as the imposition of sharia (Islamic law). This does not mean that they want to isolate their societies from outside influences: Most view globalization positively and favor democracy and freedom of religion. These findings are from surveys in Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, and Indonesia conducted from December 2006 to February, 2007 by WorldPublicOpinion.org with support from the START Consortium at the University of Maryland. Large majorities across all four countries believe the United States seeks to “weaken and divide the Islamic world.” On average 79 percent say they perceive this as a US goal, ranging from 73 percent in Indonesia and Pakistan to 92 percent in Egypt. Equally large numbers perceive that the United States is trying to maintain “control over the oil resources of the Middle East” (average 79%). Strong majorities (average 64%) even believe it is a US goal to “spread Christianity in the region.” “While US leaders may frame the conflict as a war on terrorism, people in the Islamic world clearly perceive the US as being at war with Islam,” said Steven Kull, editor of WorldPublicOpinion.org. READ IT ALL

1 comment:

RLaing said...

In short orthodox Islam is not our enemy, quite to the contrary, it is our essential ally.

Ummm... Depends. If we take 'our' propaganda at face value, that might be true; but apart from the frequent use of the words 'War on Terror', I see little to no evidence that a 'War on Terror', Islamic or otherwise, even exists.

Equally large numbers perceive that the United States is trying to maintain “control over the oil resources of the Middle East”

Ah. There are other goals in the 'War on Terror', such as keeping the domestic population in line, maintaining popular support for arms spending, etc., but this is obviously the crux of it. Not only is it the rational thing to do, from the point of view of self-interest, but it has been explicity and repeatedly spelled out as the primary goal of U.S. policy in the region since WWII at least.

Weakening and dividing the Islamic world is not a goal in itself; merely the means to an end. It just so happens that Muslims live on top of the bulk of the world's energy reserves, which makes a strong and united Islamic world a serious obstacle to foreign control of same.