Poll shock! Muslims like the West!
But many critical of US/UK foreign policy
Julaybib Ayoub, The Daily Terror
A cross-section of adults polled in Muslim majority nations across the Arab world and elsewhere admire technology, democracy and many of the cultural values and achievements of the West, a new study has revealed. The Poll, carried out by Gallup in association with Professor John L Esposito of Georgetown University, also revealed that Islamists hold almost identical views about the West to non-political Muslims, with both increasingly critical of elements of UK and American foreign policy.
The survey, details of which were published in Harvard International Review and ISIM Review, also revealed that Muslims were able to discriminate between the foreign policies of the UK/USA and other Western nations, with many equally critical of Muslim nations such as Pakistan. Muslims were particularly critical of USA's "double standard" of supporting democracy in its own country whilst demonstrating a total disregard for democracy, human rights and justice in other nations.
The study also points to a huge shift in support for radical Islamist groups such as Hamas and Hizbollah throughout the Muslim world, following Israel’s war against the democratically elected government in Palestine and its invasion of Lebanon this year. Professor Esposito, writing in ISIM review, suggests that such support would have been “unimaginable” prior to the latest upsurge in Israeli military violence. Amnesty International and other human rights groups have accused Israel of war crimes. Both the UK and UK governments are understood to have condoned or actively supported Israel in its attacks on Gaza and Lebanon.
Esposito is critical of political responses to Muslim support for radical Islamism, notably the appointment of Karen Hughes as “Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy” by the Bush administration. In the UK, the British government has recently implied its intention to sponsor only those national Muslim groups who avoid criticising British foreign policy. “Public diplomacy is more than public relations.” Argued Esposito, who is a founding director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for Christian-Muslim understanding. “It is about acting consistently with the words one speaks.”
In commenting on the poll results, Professor Esposito indicated a need to distinguish between radical and mainstream Islamist organisations. In recent years, Islamist groups in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia have turned to peaceful, democractic methods, often in the face of hostile governments eager to appease American foreign policy. The study recommends US and UK governments set clear limits on their support for Israel, whilst recognising Muslim anti-Americanism is the result of US foreign policy, and not hatred for the American way of life.