by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
June 27, 2006
[NY Sun title: "Survey of World's Muslims Yields Dismaying Results"]
How do Muslims worldwide think?
To find out, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press carried out a large-scale attitudinal survey this spring. Titled “The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other,” it interviewed Muslims in two batches of countries: six of them with long-standing, majority-Muslim populations (Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey) and four of them in Western Europe with new, minority Muslim populations (France, Germany, Britain, and Spain).
The survey, which also looks at Western views of Muslims, yielded some dismaying but not altogether surprising results. Its themes can be grouped under three rubrics.
A proclivity to conspiracy theories: In not one Muslim population polled does a majority believe that Arabs carried out the attacks of September 11, 2001, on America. The proportions range from a mere 15% in Pakistan holding Arabs responsible, to 48% among French Muslims. Confirming recent negative trends in Turkey, the number of Turks who point the finger at Arabs has declined to 16% today from 46% in 2002. In other words, in every one of these 10 Muslim communities, a majority views September 11 as a hoax perpetrated by the American government, Israel, or some other agency.
Likewise, Muslims are widely prejudiced against Jews, ranging from 28% unfavorable ratings among French Muslims to 98% in Jordan (which, despite the monarchy’s moderation, has a majority Palestinian Arab population). Further, Muslims in certain countries (especially Egypt and Jordan) see Jews conspiratorially, as being responsible for bad relations between Muslims and Westerners.
Conspiracy theories also pertain to larger topics. Asked, “What is most responsible for Muslim nations’ lack of prosperity?” between 14% (in Pakistan) and 43% (in Jordan) blame the policies of America and other Western states, as opposed to indigenous problems, such as a lack of democracy or education, or the presence of corruption or radical Islam.
This conspiracism points to a widespread unwillingness in the umma to deal with realities, preferring the safer bromides of plots, schemes, and intrigues. It also exposes major problems adjusting to modernity.
Support for terrorism: All the Muslim populations polled display a solid majority of support for Osama bin Laden. Asked whether they have confidence in him, Muslims replied positively, ranging between 8% (in Turkey) and 72% (in Nigeria). Likewise, suicide bombing is popular. Muslims who call it justified range from 13% (in Germany) to 69% (in Nigeria). These appalling numbers suggest that terrorism by Muslims has deep roots and will remain a danger for years to come.
British and Nigerian Muslims are most alienated: Britain stands out as a paradoxical country. Non-Muslims there have strikingly more favorable views of Islam and Muslims than elsewhere in the West; for example, only 32% of the British sample view Muslims as violent, significantly less than their counterparts in France (41%), Germany (52%), or Spain (60%). In the Muhammad cartoon dispute, Britons showed more sympathy for the Muslim outlook than did other Europeans. More broadly, Britons blame Muslims less for the poor state of Western-Muslim relations.
But British Muslims return the favor with the most malign anti-Western attitudes found in Europe. Many more of them regard Westerners as violent, greedy, immoral, and arrogant than do their counterparts in France, Germany, and Spain. In addition, whether asked about their attitudes toward Jews, responsibility for September 11, or the place of women in Western societies, their views are notably more extreme.
The situation in Britain reflects the “Londonistan” phenomenon, whereby Britons preemptively cringe and Muslims respond to this weakness with aggression.
Nigerian Muslims generally have the most belligerent views on such issues as the state of Western-Muslim relations, the supposed immorality and arrogance of Westerners, and support for Mr. bin Laden and suicide terrorism. This extremism results, no doubt, from the violent state of Christian-Muslim relations in Nigeria.
Ironically, most Muslim alienation is found in those countries where Muslims are either the most or the least accommodated, suggesting that a middle path is best – where Muslims do not win special privileges, as in Britain, nor are they in an advanced state of hostility, as in Nigeria.
Overall, the Pew survey sends an undeniable message of crisis from one end to the other of the Muslim world.
Everyday, American Congress for Truth (ACT) is a 501c3 non profit organization on the front lines fighting for you in meeting with politicians, decision makers, speaking on college campuses and planning events to educate and inform the public about the threat of radical Muslim fundamentalists to world peace. We are committed to combating the global upsurge of hate and intolerance.
To continue and bolster our efforts, we need your continued solidarity, activism and financial support. We are only as strong as our supporters. We thank you for helping us carry on this important work.
ACT, P.O.Box 6884, Virginia Beach, VA 23456
First Word: What is ‘Human Rights Watch’ watching?
Consider the following highly publicized “conclusion” reached by Human Rights Watch about the recent war in Lebanon between Hizbullah and Israel:
“Human Rights Watch found no cases in which Hizbullah deliberately used civilians as shields to protect them from retaliatory IDF attack.”
Anyone who watched even a smattering of TV during the war saw with their own eyes direct evidence of rockets being launched from civilian areas. But not Human Rights Watch. How could an organization, which claims to be objective, have been so demonstrably wrong about so central a point in so important a war? Could it have been an honest mistake? I don’t think so.
Despite its boast that “Human Rights Watch has interviewed victims and witnesses of attacks in one-on-one settings, conducted on-site inspections … and collected information from hospitals, humanitarian groups, and government agencies,” it didn’t find one instance in which Hizbullah failed to segregate its fighters from civilians.
Nor apparently did HRW even ask the Israelis for proof of its claim that Hizbullah rockets were being fired from behind civilians, and that Hizbullah fighters were hiding among civilians.
Its investigators interviewed Arab “eyewitnesses” and monitored “information from public sources including the Israeli government statements.”
Human Rights Watch ignored credible news sources, such as The New York Times and The New Yorker.
“Hizbullah came to Ain Ebel to shoot its rockets,” said Fayad Hanna Amar, a young Christian man, referring to his village. “They are shooting from between our houses.”
…Mr. Amar said Hizbullah fighters in groups of two and three had come into Ain Ebel, less than a mile from Bint Jbail, where most of the fighting has occurred. They were using it as a base to shoot rockets, he said, and the Israelis fired back.
- Sabrina Tavernise, “Christians Fleeing Lebanon Denounce Hizbullah,” The New York Times, July 28, 2006.
Near the hospital, a mosque lay in ruins….
A man approached and told me that he was a teacher at the Hariri school. I asked him why he thought the Israelis had hit a mosque, and he said, simply, “It was a Hizbullah mosque.” …
A younger man came up to me and, when we were out of earshot of others, said that Hizbullah had kept bombs in the basement of the mosque, but that two days earlier a truck had taken the cache away.
- Jon Lee Anderson, “The Battle for Lebanon,” The New Yorker, August 8, 2006.
Even if the location of UN posts were known to Israeli commanders, that doesn’t rule out the possibility that Hizbullah fighters used one as a shield from which to unleash fire. They’ve done so in the past, says Maj.-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie (ret’d.), who witnessed the technique while on peacekeeping assignments in the area. “It’s the same as if you set up your weapons systems beside a mosque or a church or a hospital.”
- Carlie Gillis, “Diplomacy Under Fire,” MacLean’s, August 7, 2006.
The surgeon led a group of journalists over what remained: mangled debris, shredded walls and a roof punched through by an Israeli shell.
“Look what they did to this place,” Dr. Fatah said, shaking his head. “Why in the world would the Israelis target a hospital?”
The probable answer was found a few hours later in a field nearby. Hidden in the tall grass were the burned remnants of a rocket-launcher.
Confronted with the evidence, Dr. Fatah admitted his hospital could have been used as a site from which to fire rockets into Israel.
- Sonia Verma, “Hizbullah’s Deadly Hold on Heartland,” National Post, August 5, 2006.
[Samira] Abbas said, she heard from relatives that her house in Bint Jbeil had been destroyed. She said Hizbullah fighters had gathered in citrus groves about 500 yards from her home.
- Mohamad Bazzi, “Mideast Crisis – Farewell to a Soldier; Reporting from Lebanon; Running Out of Places to Run,” Newsday, July 28, 2006
“What that means is, in plain English, ‘We’ve got Hizbullah fighters running around in our positions, taking our positions here and then using us for shields and then engaging the (Israeli Defense Forces),’” said [Lewis] MacKenzie, who led Canadian peacekeepers in Bosnia.
- Steven Edwards, “UN contradicts itself over Israeli attack,” CanWest News Service, July 27, 2006.
It was also reported that Hizbullah fired from the vicinity of five UN positions at Alma Ash Shab, At Tiri, Bayt Yahoun, Brashit, and Tibnin.
- United Nations interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), Naqoura, July 28, 2006 (Press Release).
While these pictures have escaped the ravaged country, other images and footage taken by local newspaper and television teams are routinely
seized by armed Hizbullah fighters at road blocks.
In one image a group of fighters, including youths, are preparing to fire an anti-aircraft gun just metres from an apartment block with laundry sheets drying on a balcony.
Others show a Hizbullah fighter armed with a nickel-plated AK47 rifle guarding no-go zones after Israeli blitzes.
Another depicts the remnants of a Hizbullah Katyusha rocket in the middle of a residential block, blown up in an Israeli air attack.
The Melbourne man who smuggled the shots out of Beirut told yesterday how he was less than 400m from the block when it was obliterated.
“Hizbullah came in to launch their rockets, then within minutes the area was blasted by Israeli jets,” he said.
“Until the Hizbullah fighters arrived, it had not been touched by the Israelis. Then it was devastated.
“After the attacks they didn’t even allow the ambulances or the Lebanese Army to come in until they had cleaned the area, removing their rockets and hiding other evidence…
The fighters used trucks, driven into residential areas, as launch pads for the rockets, he said.
Another image shows a line of decimated trucks sitting behind a 5m crater. The tourist who smuggled the images back to Melbourne said the trucks had been carrying rockets.
The release of the images comes as Hizbullah fighters face increasing censure for using innocent civilians as “human shields.”
- Chris Tinkler, “Revealed: How Hizbullah puts the innocent at risk; They don’t care,” Sunday Mail (Australia), July 30, 2006.
HOW COULD Human Rights Watch have ignored – or more likely suppressed – this evidence from so many different sources? The only reasonable explanation is that they wanted there to be no evidence of Hizbullah’s tactic of hiding behind civilians. So they cooked the books to make it come out that way.
Even after the fighting ended and all the reports of Hizbullah hiding among civilians were published, HRW chief Kenneth Roth essentially repeated the demonstrably false conclusions that “in none of those cases was Hizbullah anywhere around at the time of the attack.” So committed is Human Rights Watch to its predetermined conclusions that it refused to let the facts, as reported by objective sources, get in its way.
Many former supporters of Human Rights Watch have become alienated from the organization, because of, in the words of one early supporter, “their obsessive focus on Israel.”
Within the last month, virtually every component of the organized Jewish community, from secular to religious, liberal to conservative, has condemned Human Rights Watch for its bias. Roth and his organization’s willful blindness when it comes to Israel and its enemies have completely undermined the credibility of a once important human rights organization. Human Rights Watch no longer deserves the support of real human rights advocates. Nor should its so-called reporting be credited by objective news organizations.
|What did you do in the war, UNIFIL?
You broadcast Israeli troop movements.
by Lori Lowenthal Marcus
09/04/2006, Volume 011, Issue 47
Defying U.N., Iran Opens Nuclear Reactor
Tehran says is for peaceful purposes. The announcement comes days before Thursday’s U.N. deadline for
Iran to stop uranium enrichment – which also can be used to create nuclear weapons – or face economic and political sanctions.
Tehran has called the U.N. Security Council resolution “illegal” and said it won’t stop enrichment as a precondition to negotiations. Mohammed Saeedi, the deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said the heavy water plant is “one of the biggest nuclear projects” in the country, state-run television reported. He said the plant will be used in the pharmaceutical field and in diagnosing cancer. The plant’s top official, Manouchehr Madadi, said the facility has the ability to produce up to 16 tons of heavy water a year.
Iran has been a building a heavy water reactor near the plant for two years, but the reactor is not scheduled for completion until 2009. Nuclear weapons can be produced using either plutonium or highly enriched uranium as the explosive core. Either substance can be produced in the process of running a reactor. Reactors fueled by enriched uranium use regular – or “light” – water as a “moderator” in the chain reaction that produces energy. Reactors using “heavy water” contain a heavier hydrogen particle, which allows the reactor to run on natural uranium mined by
Iran, foregoing the enrichment progress. But the spent fuel from a heavy water reactor can be reprocessed to extract plutonium for use in a bomb. The West’s main worry has been uranium enrichment. Iran on Tuesday responded to an incentives package presented by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany aimed at getting
Tehran to roll back its disputed nuclear program. Iran said it would be open to negotiations but did not agree to the West’s key demand for
Tehran to halt uranium enrichment as a precondition to talks.