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.
Negative Views of U.S. Unchanged in Turkey
Though U.S. image remains dismal in Turkey (the lowest rating among 25 nations surveyed) there are signs of improvement in this strategically important country. Far more Turks trust the new American president and the nation is turning less negative toward U.S. foreign policy.
Europeans and Americans Share Concerns About Iran’s Nuclear Program
As international pressure mounts on Iran to halt its nuclear program, Americans and Europeans generally express serious concerns about the potential threat from a nuclear-armed Iran. These fears are somewhat muted in Russia
Mapping the Global Muslim Population
A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds there are 1.57 billion Muslims of all ages living in the world today, representing 23% of an estimated 2009 world population of 6.8 billion. A series of interactive maps show the size and distribution of the worldwide Muslim population.
Public Supports Military Action Against Iran to Prevent Nuclear Weapons
About six-in-ten Americans feel it is more important to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons with military force than to avoid conflict. However, most also approve of direct negotiations and tougher economic sanctions. The efficacy of diplomacy is questioned, though.
Ideological Gaps Over Israel on Both Sides of Atlantic
The American public has long expressed strong support for Israel. In contrast, polls in Western Europe have frequently found more support for the Palestinians. But while they generally take different sides in the conflict, political ideology matters in both America and Europe.
Modest Backing for Israel in Gaza Crisis; No Desire for Greater U.S. Role
Americans have a mixed view of the war in Gaza, and see it in much the same way as they viewed Israel’s conflict with Hezbollah in 2006. As in the past, Americans express strong support for Israel, but there is limited approval of the current military action. However, Hamas is largely seen as primarily responsible for the outbreak of violence.
Before Israel’s Invasion, Hamas Popularity Was Waning Among Its Neighbors — Even in Gaza Itself
Before the current Middle East conflict, Hamas hardly enjoyed universal popularity among Muslims, and among some key Arab publics, its support had been waning.
Obamamania Abroad: The Candidate Can Expect a Warm Welcome in Europe, Not So in the Middle East
By all accounts, Barack Obama will be enthusiastically greeted when he travels to Europe. But his trip will take him into less friendly territory in the Middle East where Muslims remain skeptical about the future of U.S. foreign policy, regardless of who is elected in November.