Saturday, June 24, 2006

Perception of Muslims.

Many conservative pundits in the US believe that the Europeans do not support Bush's strategy in Iraq because they don't believe that democracy is possible in Muslim countries. Well the results of the polls conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project contradicts that - at least as much as France and Britain are concerned:

More people in Britain and France believe that democracy can work well in Muslim countries than in America.

Here's another interesting result:
France and the US are the two countries where a great number of people think relations between Muslims and Westerners are generally good (about 1/3). That's low but better than anywhere else in the West.

More surprisingly is that France is the only country where a large percentage (74%) of both the general public and the Muslim minority population feel there is no conflict in being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society.
This is all the more interesting that France is the most secular society in the West. (this may contradict some of what we said in our previous post)
In fact, it appears that French non-Muslims are more optimistic than the Muslims themslves. (71%). This is interesting if you consider that the polls were taken after the riots in heavily Muslim areas of France.

According to Pew Global, overall, the views of Europe's Muslims represent a middle ground between the way Western publics and Muslims in the Middle East and Asia view each other.
So maybe European Muslims could be a chance for the future of the relationships beteween the West and Islam. They could be the key to avoid a definite clash of civilization.


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