Monday, April 30, 2007

How Moslems Think

Here is an interesting recent(The survey, was carried out between mid-December and mid-February, ...) poll of opinions of people in the moslem world. I'm not attempting to make any point here. Just to provide some background information. You decide what it means and tell me what you think.
An average of more than 75 percent of respondents across the four countries -- Egypt, Morocco and the world's two most populous Muslim nations, Indonesia and Pakistan -- said they believed that dividing and weakening the Islamic world and maintaining control over Middle East oil were key goals of U.S. foreign policy...

Sixty-four percent of respondents in Indonesia, Pakistan, and Morocco said another U.S. goal was to "spread Christianity in the region.".....

And an average of two out of three respondents named "expand(ing) the geographic borders of Israel" as a third major U.S. policy objective in the region.
By contrast, less than one in four agreed that Washington wanted to create "an independent and economically viable Palestinian state", despite Bush's explicit endorsement of that goal since before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. ....
"While U.S. leaders may frame the conflict as a war on terrorism, people in the Islamic world clearly perceive the U.S. as being at war with Islam,"...... "There's a feeling of being under siege.....
Nearly three out of four respondents said they agreed with al-Qaeda's objectives -- if not the means -- to force Washington to remove its bases and military forces from all Islamic countries and stop favoring Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians; "to stand up to America and affirm the dignity of the Islamic people;" and "to keep Western values out of Islamic countries."
Respondents showed somewhat less enthusiasm for al-Qaeda's more religiously oriented goals, such as enforcing strict Sharia law in Muslim countries or establishing a single state, or Caliphate, throughout the Islamic world, although they, too, commanded strong majority support, particularly in Morocco.
At the same time, however, majorities in each country, ranging from 56 percent in Pakistan to 82 percent in Egypt, said they thought global economic globalization and communications was positive for their country. Similar support was found for democratic forms of governance. .......
..poll found that Bush himself was by far the Arab world's most-disliked world leader, exceeding even Israeli leaders who had topped four consecutive annual surveys carried out by Zogby and Telhami since 2002.
Asked their opinions of the current U.S. government in the latest poll, a majority of respondents -- ranging from 59 percent in Pakistan to 93 percent in Egypt -- said their views were unfavorable. Substantially smaller majorities -- just over 50 percent -- expressed unfavorable views of "the American people" in Egypt, Pakistan, and Indonesia, while two out of three Moroccan respondents said their views of the people of the United States were favorable. ......

In addition to identifying what they thought were major U.S. objectives in the Middle East, respondents were asked to choose among three possible options for what was "the primary goal" of the U.S. war on terrorism.
Strong majorities in Pakistan (68 percent), Morocco (72 percent) and Egypt (86 percent) chose either "weakening and dividing the Islamic religion and its people" or "achieving political and military domination to control Middle East resources". An average of only 13 percent of respondents in the same three countries said the primary U.S. goal was to "protect itself from terrorist attacks."
The results in Indonesia were somewhat less negative. Fifty-three percent of respondents chose one of the first two options, while 23 percent selected the third......

As for attitudes about al-Qaeda itself, an average of 15 percent of respondents said they supported the group's attacks on U.S. targets; while 23 percent said they oppose such attacks but share the group's attitudes toward the United States. Another 26 percent said they oppose both its attacks and its attitudes towards the U.S., while 37 percent (including two-thirds of all Pakistanis) declined to answer. Support for attacks on U.S. targets was highest in the two Arab states, Egypt (25 percent) and Indonesia (15 percent).
But respondents made a clear distinction between what kinds of attacks they considered permissible. While an average of about half of all respondents (and much higher percentages in the two Arab states) said they either "strongly" or "somewhat" approved of attacks against U.S. soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere in the region, only a tiny fraction -- well under 10 percent -- said they approved of attacks against civilians, either in the region or in the United States.
At the same time, the survey found more ambiguous responses to questions about al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Small pluralities in Egypt (40 percent), and Pakistan and Morocco (27 percent) said they had generally "positive" impressions of him, as opposed to "mixed" or "negative" views. In Indonesia, views were more evenly split.
The apparent inconsistency between those findings and strong disapproval of attacks on civilians may be explained in part by uncertainty over al-Qaeda's role in the Sep. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC. Across the four countries, an average of 42 percent of respondents said they didn't know (63 percent in Pakistan) who was responsible for the attacks.
Only two percent of Pakistanis believed that al-Qaeda was responsible for the attacks, compared to 34 percent who said they believed the U.S. government or Israel was behind them.
Christine Fair, a South Asia specialist at the U.S. Institute of Peace, suggested that that result may reflect confusion about the group's leaders who "20 years ago were 'freedom fighters', and now they're 'terrorists'. Folks just don't believe al-Qaeda did this."
Opinions were more evenly divided in the other three countries: in Morocco, 35 percent named al-Qaeda, while 31 percent said either the U.S. or Israel; in Egypt, the breakdown was 28 percent and 38 percent, respectively. In Indonesia, 26 percent of respondents blamed al-Qaeda, while 20 percent said they believed the U.S. or Israel was responsible.

Here is another good background story on the moslem religion.

Again, just in case we decide we need to make a new plan, having the information on the people themselves may be a good idea. So where do we go from here?

Another good piece from someone who was in Iraq. Similar topic.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't agree with everything the Islamics polled said and I definitely don't support terrorism, but I certainly understand their anti-American sentiments. I absolutely believe our Middle Eastern policy favors Israel greatly. I, also, believe that we are bent on some kind of imperialist corporate control of The Middle East if not the world. That is PNAC's objective after all. PNAC needs a base of operations (besides Saudi Arabia) to control the Middle East. Otherwise why insist on invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and building four mega-bases in that country if we aren't planning on staying there for 30-50 years or more. Plus, of course they'll be wanting to pipe all that oil from the former USSR, Syria, Iraq, and Iran over to The Indian Ocean to be transported to the refineries in India. The sheeple don't want to hear that, though, as they still prefer to believe that Iraq has WMDs hidden somewhere and that it was responsible for the 2001 attacks. It doesn't even matter that Bush finally admitted the truth because they have been brainwashed so well into believing the lies.
There is a lot of xenophobia re: Islamics in this country now. I know someone who makes outrageous statements about them all the time. He is convinced that they are overpopulating deliberately to increase their numbers, that the Koran and Mohammad both encourage/d jihad against non-believers (not true), that they are taught from early childhood on to hate us and want to kill us, and that they are infiltrating the U.S. and other Western nations to take them over from within.
I think he is muy loco, as I think most Islamics are good people and should not be judged by the actions and beliefs of extremists. It is his kind of thinking that makes people accept or even support the bombing of innocent people because they have different beliefs and a different color skin, for that matter.
War and imperialism are not the way to win the hearts and minds of anyone, and people have the right to choose their own way of worshiping or not and their own form of government. I am tired of evangelical hypocrites who believe they are holier than thou and yet support Cheney and his puppet president and their little oligarchy while they preach about democracy.

3:47 PM, May 01, 2007  
Blogger Ron said...

I found it interesting to note that many of the moslems knew little about 9/11. Might want to address that issue right up front, wouldn't ya think? Neither side is getting all of the facts and that points to lots of misunderstanding.
I hear that Glenn Beck said that the global warming deal was a giant plot for one world government. I guess the idea that people actually care about being good caretakers of the planet is just too wacky for him to imagine. Hate to be him.
If you want to look for one world government try a little investigating on transnational corporations. I think you might find lots more evidence.

9:38 PM, May 03, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would've thought that urban Arabs would have known more than a little about 9/11 as they would have more access to TV, newspapers, radio, etc. They aren't stupid and uneducated people regardless of what the anti-Islamic sheeple may think. There are documentaries which suggest that there's a lot about 9/11 that people don't know. It is even possible that Cheney and PNAC may be involved. Surely, since the hijackers and Osama were/is Saudi, if we were going to attack the country where the terrorists originated we should've invaded
Saudi Arabia, not Iraq, right? Naturally, we don't dare to do that! I don't think Iraq just got used as a scapegoat, either. PNAC, if nothing else, used the 9/11 attacks to its own ends.
Re: global warming. Have you seen "An Inconvenient Truth" yet? It was so good and so depressing at the same time. I'm currently reading a book on global warming called
"Field Notes from a Catastrophe..." by Elizabeth Kolbert which is full of interesting information.
It is scary to think that the cycle may be unstoppable. First the higher temperatures caused by the greenhouse gases began thawing the permafrost in the arctic. The permafrost is full of trapped greenhouse gas which is being released to further raise temperatures which thaws even more permafrost. Also, consider that houses in Northern Alaska are collapsing due to the thawed permafrost. That may mean that the pipeline in Alaska could be damaged causing a major oil spill.
The ice is melting and since ice reflects sunlight and water absorbs it, less energy is reflected, more is absorbed, the water warms and more ice melts-a very bad thing.
You may want to see if you can find some info online about the research of Robert Socolow re: reducing CO 2 emissions.
One interesting thing I read wass taking place in Holland which as you probably know has reclaimed much of its land from the sea. However, rising sea levels have created a need to give some of the land back to the sea and rivers. Some innovative people have found ways to cope with this problem by building houses that float on concrete pontoons. The houses are attached to poles and rise or sink as it floods or the waters recede. Greenhouses and possibly floating roads are, also, possibilities. This is why the Dutch should be the ones to rebuild New Orleans and its levees and why everyone else in the world will be so far ahead of the U.S. technologically in the future. Seems like American science is held back in favor of enriching greedy corporations stuck in the previous century, despite all the new commerials by the energy companies talking about their new environment friendly technology. How much of the latter is fact and how much is catering to the masses since global warming/environmental protection is one of the in things to talk about now?

11:21 PM, May 06, 2007  
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