Monday, June 26, 2006

More Muslims Believe Arabs Did Not Carry Out US Attacks.

A major new survey explored the opinions of Muslims regarding different topics. The survey was carried out in 13 countries from the beginning of April until mid-May, Here are some of the views...

The survey and analysis, which were released onThursday, found that positive views held by Muslims of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and terror tactics associated with him have declined over the past year, quite substantially in Pakistan and Jordan, where suicide attacks killed more than 50 people in Amman hotels over the last year.
At the same time, the percentage of Muslims who believe that Arabs did not carry out the Sep. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and the Pentagon has increased. Majorities in Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and among the Muslim community in Britain doubt that Arabs had any role.

More than 60 percent of Indonesians and Jordanians said they had favourable views of Christians, followed by 48 percent of Egyptians. But only about one in four Pakistanis described their views as favourable, while only about one in seven Turks agreed.
By contrast, Muslims living in Europe were much more positive about Christians, one of a number of indications in the survey that European Muslims are not only considerably less alienated from the societies in which they reside than many recent analyses have suggested, but also that they could act as a moderating force in the Muslim-Western divide.

Of all Muslim populations surveyed, French Muslims were by far the most positive toward Jews -- 71 percent said they had favourable opinions, roughly twice the percentage of Muslims in Britain, Germany and Spain.
Elsewhere in the Muslim world, views of Jews were far more negative: in Indonesia, 17 percent of respondents said they had favourable opinions; in Turkey, 15 percent; in Pakistan six percent; and in the two Arab countries countries surveyed, Egypt and Jordan, only two and one percent, respectively.

As to relations between Muslims and Westerners, majorities in 10 out of 12 countries described them as "generally bad". In Europe, the most negative views were found in Germany (70 percent said "generally bad") and France (66 percent). Fifty-five percent of U.S. respondents described it the same way.

Turkey was the most negative of the predominantly Muslim nations, with nearly two-thirds opting for "generally bad" -- although 77 percent of Nigerian Muslims made the same assessment -- followed by Egypt (58 percent), Jordan (54 percent), and Indonesia (53 percent). Pakistan, where a slight plurality said that relations were "generally good", was the only exception.

The Pew analysis concluded that Muslims hold "an aggrieved view of the West -- they are much more likely than Americans or Western Europeans to blame Western policies for their own lack of prosperity. For their part Western publics instead point to government corruption, lack of education and Islamic fundamentalism as the biggest obstacles to Muslim prosperity."

The religious divide was found to be surprisingly sharp in Nigeria, where, for example, nearly three out of four Muslims and Christians ascribed negative traits to the other groups. Nigerian Muslims also constituted a "conspicuous exception" to the trend toward declining confidence in bin Laden in the Muslim world.

More than six in 10 Nigerian Muslims said they have at least some confidence in the al Qaeda leader, up from 44 percent in 2003. In addition, nearly half of Nigeria's Muslims said that suicide bombings could be justified often or sometimes in the defence of Islam.


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