Anti-US Feelings Decline
London: Anti-American feelings
in Pakistan have come down during the last five years as
65 per cent Pakistanis disliked the Americans in 2006 against
69 per cent in 2001 amid new findings that “a wealthier
and better-educated” Muslim was more likely to be
radicalized, reveals a new survey conducted recently.
The Times reported last Wednesday that seven percent believe
that the events of 9/11 were “completely justified”.
Gallup’s Center for Muslim Studies in New York carried
out surveys of 10,000 Muslims in ten predominantly Muslim
countries. One finding was that the wealthier and better-educated
a Muslim was, the more likely he was to be radicalized.
The surveys were carried out in 2005 and 2006. Along with
an earlier Gallup survey in nine other countries in 2001,
they represent the views of more than 90 percent of the
world’s Muslims. A further 1,500 Muslims in London,
Paris and Berlin are involved in a separate poll to be published
Percentage with unfavorable view of US in 2005 (all increased
since 9/11 except where indicated: Saudi Arabia 79 percent,
Jordan 65 percent, Morocco 49 percent, Iran 52 percent (down
from 63 percent in 2001), and Pakistan 65 percent (down
from 69 percent in 2001).
The findings come in a climate of growing mistrust between
Muslims and the West. Another recent survey in the US found
that 39 per cent of Americans felt some prejudice towards
The Gallup findings indicate that, in terms of spiritual
values and the emphasis on the family and the future, Americans
have more in common with Muslims than they do with their
Western counterparts in Europe.
A large number of Muslims supported the Western ideal of
democratic government. Fifty percent of radicals supported
democracy, compared with 35 percent of moderates.
Religion was found to have little to do with radicalization
or antipathy towards Western culture. Muslims were condemnatory
of promiscuity and a sense of moral decay. What they admired
most was liberty, its democratic system, technology and
freedom of speech. While there was widespread support for
Sharia, only a minority wanted religious leaders to be making
laws. Most women in the predominantly Muslim countries believed
that Sharia should be the source of a nation’s laws,
but they strongly believed in equal rights for women.
This finding indicates the complexity of the struggle ahead
for Western understanding. Few Western commentators can
see how women could embrace the veil, Sharia and equal rights
at the same time. Researchers set out to examine the truth
behind the stock response in the West to the question of
when it will know it is winning the war on terror. Foreign
policy experts tend to believe that victory will come when
the Islamic world rejects radicalism. “Every politician
has a theory: radicals are religious fundamentalists; they
are poor; they are full of hopeless-ness and hate. But those
theories are wrong,” the researchers reported.