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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 11-Sep-2011
11-Sep-11 News -- Ten years after 9/11, Muslims and Westerners are far apart

Web Log - September, 2011

11-Sep-11 News -- Ten years after 9/11, Muslims and Westerners are far apart

Al-Qaeda linked terrorists threaten both Muslims and non-Muslims


Many Muslims don't believe that Arabs were responsible for 9/11
Many Muslims don't believe that Arabs were responsible for 9/11

Many Americans believe that ordinary Muslims are out to kill Americans. Muslims return the favor by overwhelmingly believing that Muslims were NOT responsible for the 9/11 terror acts. This is one of the findings of a Pew Research Center report on relations between Muslims and Westerners.

"Muslim and Western publics continue to see relations between them as generally bad, with both sides holding negative stereotypes of the other. Many in the West see Muslims as fanatical and violent, while few say Muslims are tolerant or respectful of women. Meanwhile, Muslims in the Middle East and Asia generally see Westerners as selfish, immoral and greedy as well as violent and fanatical."


Pew report findings
Pew report findings

One finding of the Pew study that is seldom reported in the West is that both Westerners and Muslims are almost equally concerned about Islamist extremism.

For example, 77% of Israelis, 76% of Russians and 69% of Americans are concerned about Islamist extremism, but so are 78% of Palestinians, 73% of Lebanese, and 64% of Egyptians.

This isn't surprising when you consider the fact that al-Qaeda linked terrorist acts have killed far more ordinary Muslims than Westerners. This proves that Islamist terrorism is a threat to everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, when I report on Muslims, I distinguish between three groups. The largest group (probably 99.9%) are ordinary Muslims who are just trying to get through the day and feed and house their children, and aren't out to harm anyone. Even where anti-Americanism is high, which is certainly the case in Pakistan, it doesn't mean that ordinary Muslims wish harm to Americans; it does mean that they want Americans to go home, since they (incorrectly) blame Americans for the almost daily terrorist attacks in Pakistan. An analogous group in the West are what I've been calling for years the "loony left" in America, who are highly anti-American, but aren't terrorists. Many NY Times and MSNBC reporters and personalities appear to be in this category.

The second group, sometimes called "salafists," commit terrorist acts over local or regional issues. Many of these groups either want nothing to do with al-Qaeda, or simply have not established a connection with al-Qaeda, but they still have no objections to blowing up a local shopping center to make a national political point. Analogous non-Muslim groups in the West are IRA and ETA terrorists.

The third group, the "jihadists," are al-Qaeda linked terrorist groups. These include al-Qaeda itself (headquartered in Pakistan/Afghanistan), Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP - Yemen), and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM - North Africa). These groups are actively seeking to bring terrorism to Europe and America, and are dangerous to everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Interestingly enough, the Pew report only focuses on Sunni Muslims, pointedly omitting Iran, which has a largely pro-Western population, despite its hardline anti-Western leadership.

As I've said in the past, I expect the coming Clash of Civilizations world war to pit China, Pakistan and the Sunni Muslim nations against America, Russia, India and the West, and I expect Iran, when forced to choose, will side with Israel and the West.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 11-Sep-11 News -- Ten years after 9/11, Muslims and Westerners are far apart thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (11-Sep-2011) Permanent Link
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