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Poll: Muslims call U.S. 'ruthless, arrogant'
February 27, 2002 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Poll: Muslims call U.S. 'ruthless, arrogant' Do we nuke 'em, give them money so they will like us, tell them to fight their own wars and governments without us, plead for understanding. Or just say: What, Me Worry? Whatever.
posted by Postroad (54 comments total)

 
"Sixty-one percent said they did not believe Arab groups carried out the September 11 terrorist attacks."
Howcome?
posted by sheauga at 11:10 AM on February 27, 2002


I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the muslim religion is characterised by intolerance and violence.Here is an account of another in a long line of barbarous acts.
posted by Fat Buddha at 11:41 AM on February 27, 2002


Sheauga: They blame the Jews.
Personally, I find it heartening that only 15% agreed with the Sept 11th attacks, and this is after we've struck back.
posted by eszetela at 11:44 AM on February 27, 2002


and a majority also indicated their displeasure with President Bush.

Now where have I heard this before?

Perhaps it would be fair to conduct the same poll in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. (On all topics, not just the one quoted above)
posted by ginz at 11:46 AM on February 27, 2002


First thought; I wonder how much of the rest of the world would agree to the "ruthless, arrogant" tag?

and 14 percent of Iranians surveyed had a favorable view of the United States - that's higher than I would have thought considering America and Iran's hitory.
posted by iain at 11:47 AM on February 27, 2002


Howcome?
Because, as we all know, jews are the sole source of evil in the world, and the 9/11 incidents were merely orchestrated ploys by the CIA to redirect public attention away from the ghost of Nixon, who is even now attempting to overthrow the government of Iran and replace it with a Zionist dictatorship.

It is impossible for any muslim to take a life, regardless of what you may have seen on TV. This is why Al-Jazeera declined to show the videotape that had Bin Laden claiming responsibility; it is a religious impossibility, and therefore must be disregarded no matter how true it is.
posted by aramaic at 11:47 AM on February 27, 2002


This is a situation where no matter what the US does, it's wrong. Short of emptying all of the piggybanks, grocery stores and shopping malls, and piling it up at the feet of the muslim world, we're damned no matter what we do.

a majority also indicated their displeasure with President Bush.

Well, here's something I think we can all agree on.
posted by crunchland at 11:47 AM on February 27, 2002


sheauga: "Howcome?"

Well, it's obvious. The Arabs who happened to be on those planes, and who happened to know each other, and who happened to have taken flying lessons (though they didn't care about learning how to land), were simply victims like everyone else.

It's either that or mass denial.

fat buddha, I'd duck if I were you. I think the tomatoes are about to come flying.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:49 AM on February 27, 2002


I frankly could care less what they think of us. A lot of the people in that part of the world are living in some sort of reality distortion field and hey, we're the biggest kids on the block. Nobody likes the big kid. Tough.
posted by owillis at 11:50 AM on February 27, 2002


Preach on, OWillis!!
posted by byort at 11:53 AM on February 27, 2002


Fat, there was a FPP about your comments yesterday. And there was a longwinded discussion, without any result ofcourse.

You can call the muslim religion what ever you like because you have the right to do so. But to be right, the hindu extremists werent on a goodwill tour anyways, not to say that i am happy at the murder. I am for no violence. But the Hindu extremists are part of the coalition that rules India, and when the Indian prime minister, uncle Vajpayee said that he can win elections without the muslims, that does show how complex the issue is.

These particular hindus, not all of them, these particular ones, razed and brought down a centuries old mosque in Ayodhiya. The Baburi Mosque. The hindus say that it used to be a temple site which was razed by Muslims earlier. Large number of humans were killed in 1992 both hindu and muslim.

Now that BJP, uncle Vajpayee's party was losing elections, they used the Temple card again to get some much needed Hindu votes. The extremists are planning to take pre-built pillars to the Mosque site to start building the temple.

Today uncle Vajpayee says that there are only two ways to solve the problems, either by dialogue or to wait for the decision in the ongoing supreme court trial.

My question is, why did uncle Vajpayee have to raise the Temple Card in such a ready to ignite environment, just to get more hindu votes ?
posted by adnanbwp at 11:57 AM on February 27, 2002


Short of emptying all of the piggybanks, grocery stores and shopping malls, and piling it up at the feet of the muslim world
Well since america is perceived as being deeply materialist then that wont work either...
posted by iain at 11:57 AM on February 27, 2002


First thought; I wonder how much of the rest of the world would agree to the "ruthless, arrogant" tag?

It's a common sentiment. I watched the Sept 11 attacks on TV in a bar in Japan. The common reaction was "Well, that was bound to happen, wasn't it?". There were even whoops of glee. (I was drinking with a Frenchman, an Irishman, Japanese, and an Indian)
posted by dydecker at 12:02 PM on February 27, 2002


"Twenty-eight percent of Kuwaitis ... had a favorable view of the United States. "

Lovely. Maybe it's time to disengage from the region altogether. Wonder how many have a favorable view Iraq - under who's control they'd be right now if it weren't for the US.
posted by MidasMulligan at 12:04 PM on February 27, 2002


I watched at work, and nobody was cheering as we have offices in downtown new york. Still, I know people who thought that America 'deserved' it, hoping america would be taken down a peg or two. As if...
posted by iain at 12:07 PM on February 27, 2002


Oh yes, Osama bin whatever is certainly not ruthless and arrogant. Neither is Hussein and neither was the Ayatollah, etc. Not a ruthless or arrogant apple in the Muslim national basket.

I agree with Andrew Sullivan that there may be something inherently violent in the very nature of most religions, or at least violence in some of the faithful's blind adherence to a culturally irrelevant doctrine. Christianity has just as often been used as a weapon against modernity as Islam.

As for the results of this poll, either someone's been watching too much Al-Jazeera, or it's sour grapes. Or both.
posted by evanizer at 12:11 PM on February 27, 2002


As for the results of this poll, either someone's been watching too much Al-Jazeera, or it's sour grapes. Or both
I think you underestimate America's impact on the rest of the world. Very badly too.
posted by iain at 12:17 PM on February 27, 2002


It's a common sentiment. I watched the Sept 11 attacks on TV in a bar in Japan. The common reaction was "Well, that was bound to happen, wasn't it?".

Hopefully everyone who holds such a view now realizes that acting on such hatred will have drastic consequences.
posted by eszetela at 12:22 PM on February 27, 2002


I was drinking with a Frenchman, an Irishman, Japanese, and an Indian

Wasn't that a joke?
posted by byort at 12:23 PM on February 27, 2002


dydecker: "I watched the Sept 11 attacks on TV in a bar in Japan... There were even whoops of glee. (I was drinking with a Frenchman, an Irishman, Japanese, and an Indian)"

That's sick no matter where it happened or who did the "whooping." There's something depraved about a person who can express such glee in response to watching thousands of innocent people die, no matter what their political ideology.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:24 PM on February 27, 2002


I don't underestimate America's impact on the rest of the world. It actually seems that the 'rest of the world' does the underestimation, in that we carry much of the burden of the 'rest of the world' and get shit on as thanks. The US is expected to give the 'rest of the world' money, political support, military support, movies, the benefit of our educational institutions, technological advancements, medical advancements, etc. Then we are scorned, murdered by terrorists, and generally derided in return, and we are expected to take it like men. Sorry, but I call bullshite on that.

...and I just love the 'whoops of glee' thing. Whenever any other nation on the earth suffers a disaster, we are (rightly) supposed to feel sadness and empathy. But when tragedy strikes the US, and its citizens, it's a 'political' blow. The rest of the world is human, but the US is a political and economic abstraction.

If I had been anywhere where there were any 'whoops of glee' on September 11th, they would have turned into 'yelps of pain' very quickly.
posted by evanizer at 12:32 PM on February 27, 2002


pardonyou?, 2 things happened on Sept 11, thousands of people died, and America got it's nose bloodied. It's possible to be gleefull about the second whilst being repulsed about the first. Everyone I know was sickened by the deaths, but a few thought the nose bloodying was deserved. At least I hope that's how they feel.
posted by iain at 12:32 PM on February 27, 2002


A lot of the people in that part of the world are living in some sort of reality distortion field

Owillis, if you think that the average American has a clear picture of the world, you are sadly mistaken. If our view hadn't been so distorted, we might have seen 9/11 coming.
posted by jpoulos at 12:33 PM on February 27, 2002


adnanbwp: In response to your comment, in your country you would have already built the mosque over the hindu site, if the case were reversed.

At least in india we allow our courts to intervene, the difference simply being that we are a democracy not a dictatorship.

Maybe it's time you realize that there is no way you can paint islam in a good light anymore without serious attitudinal ( if thats a word ) changes. The vast majority of muslims in india will only dwindle if this carries on, and take one guess who loses out.
posted by bittennails at 12:40 PM on February 27, 2002


"That's sick no matter where it happened or who did the "whooping." There's something depraved about a person who can express such glee in response to watching thousands of innocent people die, no matter what their political ideology."

pardonyou? - It's a pity Hollywood doesn't agree with you there, I seem to remember Rambo being pretty popular as he blew away those 'gooks'.
posted by niceness at 12:42 PM on February 27, 2002


sorry, that was vast "minority".
posted by bittennails at 12:42 PM on February 27, 2002


There are only a couple of outlets through which the Arab/Muslim world finds out about the USA.

1) Movies:
Americans are arrogant, stubborn, flirtatious. Its all right to kill the bad guys. Most bad guys are black. The good black guy can die too. Every one can die but the hero's dog. Then its hell for every one else. It's ok to say profane words if you are really angry/funny.HAHA dirty Arab cant speak English.

2) Arab/Muslim state media:
Americans are rascals. They did this (weep weep) They did that. Look in their eyes. They are not trustable. American President talking about "crusade". Repeatedly telecast. Blah Blah Blah. (Not same in Pakistani state owned TV these days, I noted)

3) Relatives visiting home:
Life is tough in America. They dont really respect you. Even if you get a citizenship. Your skin color differentiates you. You can never be an American. You have to have a prefix. Irish-American, African-American, Asian-American. etc. Its a white man's world. American teenagers are absurd.

Most of the times they make up stuff too, because they are some how ashamed that they live in American and enjoy the standard of life it has to offer, while their kin live a lesser off life.

4) American Media:
The Simpsons (No Comments)
Friends (No Comments)
CNN
Biased. They could have avoided the label. They could have shown both sides of the israeli-palestinian issue. They could have shown pictures of the dying on both sides. One can understand their need to cater to their audience. So maybe they could have commented that it was wrong of this child to break the curfew and throw stones at tanks. But they could have atleast shown the picture of the dead boy. Atleast then maybe, people didnt think CNN is biased. The result is that the state owned media exaggurates and plays with the minds of the people.

I dont think people in this region get to see the real American face. Not one of Government officials telling white lies, they call policies. Its not like 50 years ago when Information passed slow and was controlled by few. Now we have the internet. For example, when Bush speaks about nuclear policy, a guy in India or Pakistan can go online and find out that the US has itself backed out of ABM. Similarly, one can google and find out about the School of America. About training anti-Castro people in Florida.

My mom told me that the first time she shed tears on 9/11 was when she saw people running as the towers fell on them. She said, its the first time it felt that American children are just like my children.

The people expressing their views in this pole dont know the real American. If they had known, they would have found out that most of the arrogance is just confidence stemming from a full belly and freedom to be one self.
posted by adnanbwp at 12:43 PM on February 27, 2002


iain: "pardonyou?, 2 things happened on Sept 11, thousands of people died, and America got it's nose bloodied. It's possible to be gleefull about the second whilst being repulsed about the first. "

If you can separate the two, good on you. The truth is that America got its nose bloodied by having thousands of people die. Separating the two requires a moral relativism I don't possess.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:46 PM on February 27, 2002


evaniser, The US is expected to give the 'rest of the world' money, political support, military support, movies, the benefit of our educational institutions, technological advancements, medical advancements, etc.

Well, you get paid for the movies, education, etc etc. And I think I'm right that the rest of the world very very occasionally comes up with it's own movie, educational institute etc that america finds some value in...

And the movie, educational institute etc come with all of American (or the West) cultures 'sex and violence', which doesn't go down too well everywhere. Unfortunately, the capitalism that America (and the rest of the west) promote so heavily makes resisting America's culture very difficult thanks to economies of scale and such.

In all, America has a huge, unintentional impact on the rest of the world, not entirely all beneficial. If what you've listed was all America's impact on the rest of the world, then there wouldn't be quite the levels of antipathy that there are.
posted by iain at 12:47 PM on February 27, 2002


bitter:

A prime minister, undermining a whole minority, is democracy ?

A stated Secular state, governed by the likes of RSS and BJP ?? Hindu extremists who still believe that Pakistan is just an interim situation and Muslims in India are actually Pakistanis strategicallly living in India ??

Pre-Built pillars being transported to the Mosque Site on March 15th and no Government effort to stop that ?

Democracy has nothing to do with this. Democratic governments come and they go. Its the mentality that stays.
posted by adnanbwp at 12:50 PM on February 27, 2002


pardonyou?, I can't, and was just trying to point out that (to continue the metaphor) some people may have liked the result, though not the method.
posted by iain at 12:50 PM on February 27, 2002


niceness: "pardonyou? - It's a pity Hollywood doesn't agree with you there, I seem to remember Rambo being pretty popular as he blew away those 'gooks'"

Two points: (1) There's a difference between movies and real life; and (2) I really don't think the plot of Rambo involved going around slaughtering innocent people (or calling them "gooks" for that matter).
posted by pardonyou? at 12:51 PM on February 27, 2002


Owillis, if you think that the average American has a clear picture of the world, you are sadly mistaken. If our view hadn't been so distorted, we might have seen 9/11 coming.

If Laden and his cronies had a clear picture, they might have seen our inevitable response coming right back at them.

As long as nuts are willing to hit at non-military US targets, we need to keep raising the price of such actions, by whatever means necessary.

The point should be to make whomever would attack non-military US targets view clearly the big, red, flashing "YOU AND YOUR MOVEMENT ARE ABOUT TO DIE" sign when they start considering actions along the lines of 9/11.
posted by dissent at 12:52 PM on February 27, 2002


I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the muslim religion is characterised by intolerance and violence.

Unlike, say, Christianity? Or perhaps a more recent example.

A lot of the people in that part of the world are living in some sort of reality distortion field

Not sure what that means, though I do know that the reality of life--and lifestyle--in the USA is a global anomaly. So not sure who's got the distorted perspective . . .
posted by donovan at 12:53 PM on February 27, 2002


adnan:

A prime minister, undermining a whole minority, is democracy ?

"Today Mr Vajpayee called on the council - Vishwa Hindu Parishad - to drop its demands to build a temple." quoted from the article, read any adnan?

For the rest, we have our crazies too, but we marginalize them and for the most part these jokers are political pawns. But, we allow a recourse to Law, that stays the same, no matter which government. We like to think that protects our minorities.
posted by bittennails at 12:57 PM on February 27, 2002


The sign should flash to the leaders that send those who would 'martyr' themselves... obviously only the "AND YOUR MOVEMENT" part would affect so-called 'martyrs' themselves.
posted by dissent at 1:00 PM on February 27, 2002


Well thankyou uncle Vajpayee for calling on the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. He's my favorite Indian leader in a long time. Hez funny as hell but his poetry efforts are pathetic.

But I would like to thank him also for using the Ayodhiya Ram Temple Card in the first place. Good job uncle.

Ofcourse he called on the coucil. The card didnt really work did it. BJP got a beating in this elections.
posted by adnanbwp at 1:04 PM on February 27, 2002


Well, I dug around and this is the best I could find for the reply.
Americans' Surprising Take on Islam

41% of Americans view Islam favorably, compared to 24% whose views are unfavorable.
42% of Americans believe Islam teaches respect for the beliefs of non-Muslims, compared to 22% who believe it doesn't.
57% of Americans don't believe Islam encourages violence, versus 14% who view it as a violent religion.


I wonder how much these numbers will change after this poll from the Muslim world.
posted by eszetela at 1:05 PM on February 27, 2002


The nuke option would be fine with me, thank you very much.
posted by dagny at 1:07 PM on February 27, 2002


Hey bittennails, adnanbwp, take your pissing match to e-mail. Your comments are completely irrelevent to the thread.
posted by BlueTrain at 1:08 PM on February 27, 2002


sorry bluetrain, bitter, rest of the folks. I felt that myself. :P
posted by adnanbwp at 1:11 PM on February 27, 2002


If Laden and his cronies had a clear picture, they might have seen our inevitable response coming right back at them.

Who says they didn't? And who says we've "raised the price of such actions"? Bin Laden is likely still alive, and even if we had killed him, I'm certain he would consider it a small price to pay for the destruction he did on 9/11. Do you honestly think these extremists are worried about dying?

Short of freezing a few bank accounts, and killing or capturing a small percentage of Al-Quaedans (?), what have we accomplished? We've cleaned up Afghanistan--big deal. We'll see how long that lasts once our troops are gone. And there are plenty of other places to hide.

They've still done more to us than we've done to them. The US can beats its chest all it wants--they're still "winning". The US, and most of the West, are very different now than they were six months ago--more scared, less economically stable. Have things really changed that much for The Terrorists their ilk? Are you sure you're seeing things clearly?
posted by jpoulos at 1:25 PM on February 27, 2002


BlueTrain: My response was a response to a link posted in another comment in this thread. Yes it may have been offtopic, but I don't quite have your penchant for emailing people, if it should not be said here, then it doesn't need to be said in an email.

Please return to your normal programming now. Thank you.
posted by bittennails at 1:30 PM on February 27, 2002


"Short of emptying all of the piggybanks, grocery stores and shopping malls, and piling it up at the feet of the muslim world..."

I thought that was something we did during the original oil crisis back in the 70s.
posted by MAYORBOB at 1:34 PM on February 27, 2002


A lot of the people in that part of the world are living in some sort of reality distortion field...

As opposed to the objectively-true prism you view the world through, right? Been watching television much lately?
posted by solistrato at 1:49 PM on February 27, 2002


Let's review: If they keep up this "winning" stuff for a couple more years, they'll be ready to take over the world!posted by jaek at 1:55 PM on February 27, 2002


eszetela's counter poll made me wonder, has this country gone poll crazy, somehow expecting/hoping that numbers will exist that will make one's behavior justifiable/ unjustifiable?
What validity does this poll have? why was it even done? Even if this poll used statistically accepted methodology, how do we know that those polled answered truthfully (as we might expect people in the US to when polled) and not as they thought they were expected to answer? If the latter is the case, then does this poll have any more validity than your typical, "whose hotter, Britney or Christina?" internet insta poll?
As has been noted many times here, the governments' of these countries are not democratic, therefore it doesn't matter what their people think, as it won't materially effect policy. It might allow a few fundies on both sides to stomp their feet and burn effigies. But, they aren't US, where the pols most minute movements are dependent on their poll ratings. It just seems that Gallup or CNN is just preaching to the converted, allowing them to vent.
posted by ajayb at 2:13 PM on February 27, 2002


Project MAPS, first ever poll of American Muslims.

85% of Cape Muslims sympathized with the Americans.
Voice of the Cape (South Africa) Survey of Muslims, Sept. 01

"When it comes to how Islam is actually practiced here, we African American Muslims know more about it than anyone."

SAKINA BACKGROUNDS TO JIHAD/CRUSADE/War on Terrorism
Sakina, which is the spirit of tranquillity in the Quran has been noted to be also the Hebrew Shekhinah - or indwelling feminine face of divinity.

Israel Solidarity Rally, Drury Lane Theater, London, 23 Sept. 2001 (You'll have to dig into the "previous year" to find this speech by the Chief Rabbi.)

Seat of the pants poll- 312 of 312 Saudis ...

Yemen Times Editorial condemns attacks as promoting Zionist agenda.

Foreign Media Reaction - topical summaries from the USIA

Islamic Fundamentalism and other 9/11 material from the Social Science Research Council, for those who actually wish to inform themselves

Association of GENOCIDE SCHOLARS CONFERENCE 2003 ! (Please don't talk about me when I'm gone ???)
posted by sheauga at 4:31 PM on February 27, 2002


I frankly could care less what they think of us. A lot of the people in that part of the world are living in some sort of reality distortion field and hey, we're the biggest kids on the block. Nobody likes the big kid. Tough.

Y'know, there's a word for friends who keep reminding you how they can beat you up: bully. That mustn't be what you meant to come across as. My mistake.
posted by holycola at 9:08 PM on February 27, 2002


You say bully, I say unappreciated protector. Depends on where you stand I suppose. Do other countries have valid criticisms of us? Yes. Does it go beyond the realm of belief at times? Survey says - yes.
posted by owillis at 9:13 PM on February 27, 2002


I'm certain he would consider it a small price to pay for the destruction he did on 9/11. Do you honestly think these extremists are worried about dying?

yes, they are. contrary to apparently popular belief, suicide bombers are not a commodity. they don't represent most of Al-Qaeda, and those that do exist are not necessarily willing to die in any way.

Short of freezing a few bank accounts, and killing or capturing a small percentage of Al-Quaedans (?), what have we accomplished? We've cleaned up Afghanistan--big deal.

These are not small accomplishments. Al-qaeda has been a big item on the U.S.'s list of security concerns for years. there was never enough support (domestically and internationally) before 9/11 to really go after them. Freezing bank accounts internationally? That would have *never* happened were it not for September 11th. It wouldn't have even been considered. also - crippling a group like al-qaeda it isn't about quantity, it's about quality. it would be a mistake to measure success by "how many al-qaedans' were there before sept 11th, and how many are there now?" the job is far from over, but there are a number of key things Al-Qaeda can't do now (i.e., use state of Afghanistan as permanent asylum) that materially impede their ability to function.
posted by lizs at 9:45 PM on February 27, 2002


unappreciated protector, Owillis?

You mean like the protection of exploding car bombs in Lebanon and killing tens of civilians? Or maybe the protection of toppling the democratically elected leader of Iran to install the corrupt, murderous shah? Or maybe it was arming both sides in the Iran-Iraq war. That was some unappreciated protection there. Or maybe it was being the only country in the world to give Israel a free pass on blatant human rights violations and apartheid. Very unappreciated.

I happen to believe that US foreign policy, like US domestic policy, is getting better all the time. But to write off huge mistakes as "they just don't understand how much we wanted to help!" is just being ignorant.
posted by chaz at 11:38 PM on February 27, 2002


I don't believe these polls are accurate, and here is why: in countries where freedom of opinion and hundreds if not thousands of news sources are available 24/7/365, people can develop a somewhat informed opinion. In countries where the people depend on state run media and social opinion is run through one funnel (the Mosques) the people don't have a lot of context to base their opinion on, to say nothing of the influence fear has on these folks to give the 'right' answer. Gallup admitted to government censorship in some of the countries.
posted by Mack Twain at 12:46 AM on February 28, 2002


No, I mean the country that kicked Slobodan Milosevic's ass when Europe sat and wringed its hands. The country who was instrumental in Hitler's defeat. The country that liberated Kuwait (a war I am/was still against, but if you're going to fight you should win - and even the Kuwaitis don't give us our due - perhaps we should let Saddam back in). Look, I ain't saying we're angels - we've done a lot of dirty, filthy underhanded things - but we don't get the respect due from the rest of the world for the really good things.
posted by owillis at 3:06 AM on February 28, 2002


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