August 28, 2009

Obamamania Misses Most Muslim Countries

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In only five of the 25 publics surveyed in 2009 did fewer than 30% express a favorable view of the U.S. — all of which are overwhelmingly Muslim.

The popularity of President Obama lifted positive opinion of the United States throughout much of the world to levels not seen since the beginning of the decade, before George W. Bush took office. The favorability of the U.S. rose dramatically in Western Europe, Latin America, Africa and much of Asia. But most Muslim nations continue to see the U.S. negatively. The five countries with the least favorable ratings of the U.S. were all overwhelmingly Muslim. Egypt and Jordan reported a small rise in U.S. favorability, but still, only one-in-four had a positive view of America. Pakistanis, Palestinians and Turks were all no more likely to give the U.S. a favorable rating than during the Bush administration. But the “Muslim world” is not monolithic. Six-in-ten Nigerian Muslims express a favorable view of the U.S., up from 39% last year, and an overwhelming number of Sunni Muslims in Lebanon have a positive view of the U.S. (90%). And in the world’s largest majority Muslim country, Indonesia, where Obama lived as a child, favorable views of the U.S. rose from 34% to 62% among the nation’s Muslim population. Read More