“According to a 2006 survey, conducted by the University of Maryland’s Program on International Public Attitudes:
2006 polling results by Terror Free Tomorrow from the world’s most-populous Muslim countries – Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nigeria:
… nearly half of Westerners associate Islam with violence and Muslims with terrorists. Given the many radicals who commit violence in the name of Islam around the world, that’s an understandable polling result.
But these stereotypes, affirmed by simplistic media coverage and many radicals themselves, are not supported by the facts – and they are detrimental to the war on terror … it perpetuates a myth that has the very real effect of marginalizing critical allies in the war on terror.
Terror Free Tomorrow‘s 20-plus surveys of Muslim countries in the past two years reveal another surprise:
Even among the minority who indicated support for terrorist attacks and Osama bin Laden, most overwhelmingly approved of specific American actions in their own countries.
71% of bin Laden supporters in Indonesia
79% in Pakistan, thought more favorably of the USA as a result of American humanitarian assistance in their countries – not exactly the profile of hard-core terrorist sympathizers. For most people, their professed support of terrorism/bin Laden can be more accurately characterized as a kind of “protest vote” against current US foreign policies, not as a deeply held religious conviction or even an inherently anti- American or anti-Western view …
“… Our surveys show that not only do Muslims reject terrorism as much if not more than Americans, but even those who are sympathetic to radical ideology can be won over by positive American actions that promote goodwill and offer real hope.
America’s goal, in partnership with Muslim public opinion, should be to defeat terrorists by isolating them from their own societies … build on our common humanity …” here is the article.
“Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself.” Aldous Huxley