Most Muslims Want Democracy, Personal Freedoms and Islam in Political Life
More than a year after the first stirrings of the Arab Spring, there continues to be a strong desire for democracy in Arab and other predominantly Muslim nations. A substantial number in key Muslim countries also want a large role for Islam in political life. Meanwhile, few think the U.S. favors democracy in the Middle East.
Pakistani Public Opinion Ever More Critical of U.S.
Following a year of tensions between their country and the United States, Pakistanis continue to hold highly unfavorable views of the U.S. and offer bleak assessments of the relationship between the two nations.
United in Remembrance, Divided over Policies
The public continues to be divided over many of the anti-terrorism policies that arose in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks ten years ago. These differences extend to opinions about whether U.S. wrongdoing prior to 9/11 may have motivated the attacks.
Muslim Americans: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism
While a majority of Muslim Americans say they have endured suspicion and enhanced scrutiny since the 9/11 attacks nearly 10 years ago, a wide-ranging survey finds no indication of increased alienation and anger or rising support for Islamic extremism. On the contrary, majorities of Muslim Americans express concern about the possible rise of Islamic extremism, both here and abroad.
Muslim-Western Tensions Persist
Muslim and Western publics continue to see relations between them as generally bad, but there has been somewhat of a thaw in the views of the U.S. and Europe about the Muslim world.
U.S. Image in Pakistan Falls No Further Following bin Laden Killing
Most Pakistanis see the U.S. as an enemy, consider it a potential military threat and oppose American-led anti-terrorism efforts. A majority also describes bin Laden’s death as a bad thing and many say it will have a negative impact on the already strained relations between the U.S. and their country.
Arab Spring Fails to Improve U.S. Image
The rise of pro-democracy movements in the Middle East has not led to an improvement in America’s image in the region. Instead, in key Arab nations and in other predominantly Muslim countries, views of the U.S. remain negative, as they have been for nearly a decade. And, with the exception of Indonesia, Obama remains unpopular in the Muslim nations polled.
Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah
While Hamas and Hezbollah continue to receive mixed ratings from Muslim publics around the globe, opinions of al Qaeda and bin Laden are consistently negative. Meanwhile, most Muslims surveyed welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries’ politics, and most also say democracy is preferable to any other kind of government.
Obama More Popular Abroad than at Home, Global Image of U.S. Continues to Benefit
The president gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from the world (with the notable exception of the U.S.) for the way he has handled the world economic crisis. Obama’s personal popularity remains high, as do favorable views of the U.S. In a striking difference from the Bush years, while many around the world disagree with Obama’s foreign policies, the U.S. image has not been significantly dented as a result. Muslim countries, however, continue to hold a negative view of America and most also give Obama unfavorable ratings.
Mixed Views of Hamas and Hezbollah in Largely Muslim Nations
A survey of Muslims in eight countries and the Palestinian territories finds little enthusiasm for the extremist Islamic organizations, little support for Muslim political leaders and the widespread perception of a Sunni-Shia conflict. Most Muslims are also convinced there is a struggle between modernization and fundamentalists, and publics overwhelmingly support educating girls and boys equally.