(Online citation gets more involved every day, doesn't it?)
The Pew poll and other recent surveys paint a seemingly contradictory picture of Muslim public opinion. In country after country, Muslims distrust the United States and reject its policies. They see the "global war on terror" as a war on Islam and actively fear U.S. military intervention. A stunning 93% of Bangladeshis and 92% of Moroccans, for example, say they are somewhat or very worried that the U.S. could someday pose a military threat to their nations. At the same time, however, Muslims increasingly repudiate Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda's methods (though not necessarily its political goals).The Palestinians and Iraqis are exceptions, no surprise there, but it really seems like most Muslims just want to be left the hell alone. They don't want to go back to the middle ages, and they don't want to be on the business end of American "liberation" either. Both sides suck, and they need to go away.
This contradiction is worth probing. In Lebanon, for example, 63% of those polled this spring said they opposed the U.S.-led war on terror. But only 34% thought that suicide bombings against civilians were sometimes or often justified -- down from 74% who considered suicide bombing justifiable in 2002. Support for Bin Laden plummeted from 20% to 1% of those surveyed in Lebanon, and substantial drops were also registered in Jordan, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan and Kuwait.
Makes me wonder just how popular an arabic translation of Power of Nightmares would be.