(PHOTO CREDIT: AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
While President Obama tries to boost the image of the U.S. in the Muslim world - it turns out most Americans don't look too highly on Muslim countries.
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows only 21 percent of those surveyed have a favorable opinion of Muslim countries. 46 percent have an unfavorable view. Compare that to 2002, before the start of the Iraq war, when 24 percent had a favorable view; and 41 percent had a negative opinion. About a third of those polled had a neutral option then... and now.
This poll also shows that most Americans - 78 percent - say people in the Muslim world have an unfavorable opinion of the U.S. But people are split on whether such a negative view by Muslims even matters.
At a town hall meeting in Turkey this year, President Obama declared that "the United States is not, and will never be, at war with Islam." This poll found a majority of Americans agree that the U.S. is not at war with the Muslim world; but six out of 10 Americans think the Muslim world considers itself at war with us.
These poll numbers seem to suggest the feeling of distrust is mutual... and it looks like President Obama certainly has his work cut out for him when it comes to smoothing over tensions with the Muslim world.
Here’s my question to you: Have your feelings about Muslim countries changed in the last several years?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jasmine from Germany writes:
No, my feelings haven't changed. I may not always agree with some countries' governments and policies, but I respect them. Many of the countries have brilliant histories of scientific and technological advancements. Jack, I wish many Christians would research the history of Christianity and take a good hard look at some of the ugliness Christianity has put humans through "in the name of God" throughout history.
Every time you turn on the news, you see Muslims burning American flags and going absolutely crazy when someone dares to say something they dislike. What do you think our view is going to be?
Bob from Kansas writes:
I never thought much about the Muslim countries and their problems before 9/11. Now I think that the U.S. sure gives them a lot of reasons to hate and mistrust us. If we spent half the money on their people's welfare as we spend on destroying their countries and their citizens, I'd feel a lot safer - at least until they attack us in spite of our good will. By ignoring "the least of these," we sure create a lot of enemies all across the world.
Kyle from Indianapolis, Indiana writes:
Yes, my feelings about Muslim countries have changed in the last several years, because we are over there fighting for their freedom and they don't want to help us. It's time for the Muslim countries to get their act together and figure out that the U.S. isn't against them, but we are trying to help them.
Rick from Ohio writes:
Jack, I have visited the Middle East twice, and I have found most of the people I encountered to be charming, friendly, and very inquisitive about our way of life. These are people with kids and grandkids and dreams for themselves and their families. I am convinced that most of the one billion or so Muslims are just people; our differences are more cultural than political. They have their extreme conservative right, so do we. Theirs is just more dangerous than ours, right?
Yes. I'm a Christian and a U.S. citizen. They are entitled to their religious beliefs as much as we are ours. I'm more scared of the so called religouos right than a Muslim.
Like most people in the US, I knew very little about the Muslim world up till 9-11. Since then, I have come to believe that Muslim countries are very similar in their thinking as the western world. In other words, Might is Right, just like the Christian countries. The people in all countries believe their God is the only right one The sad part is that NOBODY can say for certain what occurs to us after death, but every country (Muslim and Christian etc) all try to send the other ahead to find out.
I used to feel threatened by the Muslim world, but now I feel as if we have threatened them more than they have us. We cannot view the entire Muslim world as our enemy when the enemy is a specific group.
Having been reaised a Christian I was taught to follow the way of Christ and temper my judgement. So, it has never changed, there are hundreds of Religions around the world but the Muslims have a better press secretary right now..
White Plains, NY.
not really... what most families want is a safe life... freedom and food on the table... when the countries allow bad conditions for many years...no education and no future for young ppl you then have the problems starting, ppl start to be used to other purpose (like terrorism)
I feel absolutely no malice towards them. After 9/11, I was understandably angry with those Muslims who committed the heinous act. However, I could sit down, talk, and eat with a Muslim if one came up to me. Islam is not a religion of hate. When our administration condones things like torture, you have to wonder who is the one doing wrong. There is so much blame to go around that I can't blame Muslims any longer.
Yes it has! And my viewpoints for the better evolved when I read "Three Cups of Tea." Illiteracy is huge in the Middle East and education is the answer – not war.
My opinion will not change until such time as they the women in these countries are treated as equals to men. This will never happen so my opinion of them will never change.
Jack, I suppose my opinion of Muslim countries as worsened due to their involvement in the activities of the Taliban and Al Quadi. I suppose that so little is known in America about the Muslim religion that it's hard to differentiate between the basic Muslim and the hard line extremists and terrorists. it's my u nderstanding that the Muslim faith does not advocate murder of innocents or those of other faiths so if that's true, then it would be wrong to put all Muslims in the same catergory. My opinion and those of many others would probably change a great deal if the non-extremist Muslims would take a stronger, more vocal stand against the terrorists and extremists and take up arms against them. Unfortunately, that's not likely to happen.
Having hosted many students and families from muslim countries coming to the US to finish their degrees, we have a very high opinion of them. One couple from Algeria told me that in their countries just as in ours there are good Muslims and bad. Having met dozens of families over the years and our daughter who married a student from Libya 30 years ago. Most of us, I have found, form opinions with only hear say and not facts
Not a bit. I didn't trust them before and still don't. Our meddling in their way of life has been a huge mistake. We should have just bought oil and been on our way, and let them fight among themselves as they have done for centuries.
Yes, because until several years ago, I didn't know that the Muslim or Islam faith is against violence and murder. I am happy to say that I have learned quite a bit from media sources about this.
The fact is that muslim countries are sending their young people here to be educated in our state funded universities and going back to their countries, starting buisnesses and taking jobs from the hurting U.S. populace. As far as islam is concerned if you are a moderate muslim you are not adhering to the Quran and not really a muslim. if you are following god you don't get to leave out the parts of the book you don't like. Nobel prizes don't go to muslim people and the fact their countries are still have dirt roads is a sign to the enlightenment they have.
Americans look down on Muslim countries because of the way our media has handled the subject. Our media has turned us off to the Muslim countries with their biased reporting. They are just like everyone else. Just trying to make it through each day, hoping to provide a little better life for their children.
I have been amazed at the restraint that some countries have show in the face of the war crimes of the Bush administration.
Specifically, I have been moved by the loyalty of Jordan to America. There is no doubt that His Majesty King Abdullah II has risked his own life and probably his family's lives to be such a constant ally. God bless him.
No,, any country, including mine, that is "religion based" is not a progressive player in this world, we need to think on a grander scale..
My mind has not changed. In modern times they have always been repressive theocracies, propped up by our oil money, who pride themselves on their ignorance. I wish that they would look back to the first Caliphate that they want to restore. Back then, the Arab world, centered in Baghdad, lead the world in the arts and science.
I think the Muslim world suffers from the same thing the US does – there's a small minority of the population that is far right & driven by fundamentalist religion that is incapable of compromise on anything that get all the press attention that makes other think the entire country is like that. What is the terrible part is when the far right fringes get into power.
Having lived and worked in Iran and Saudi Arabia for many years, I can assure you that weakness is not looked upon favorably by Muslim men.
My feelings toward a Muslim country is no different then my feelings toward a Catholic country. Any country in which there exists s a majority religion has a government that is controlled by that religion, with little tolerance for any other religion. I though that this was the reason that The U.SA. was formed.
No, my feelings haven't changed. I may not always agree with some countries' governments and policies, but I respect them. Many of the countries have brilliant histories of scientific and technological advancements. Jack, I wish many Christians would research the history of Christianity and take a good hard look at some of the ugliness Christianity has put humans through "in the name of God" throughout history.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling all these obscure news about new Muslim converts in the USA these days are just a way of putting obstacles in the road to improving relations with the Muslim world ,adapted by President Obama.
Look at the Muslim countries for what they are: functional (albeit marginally) 12th century theocracies.
Cripple Creek CO
Jack, it isn't the PC thing to say, but most people really do prefer people who are like themselves, not in terms of superficial things like dress or skin color, but core values. Child marriages, suicide bombers, women abused and kept ignorant, cult-like religious programming, frantic over-breeding – you find these everywhere to some extent, but they seem to be the norm in many Muslim cultures. The more I hear, the more I fear.
Yes. Not just the Muslim world, but the whole world. Remember when everyone used to be afraid of communist. There used to be a time when, if our government wanted us to view a country as evil, we didn`t have much choice but to take the`re word for it. The thruth is much easier to come by these days. I think this plays a small roll in the decline of the GOP. Not as easy to spin things as it used to be.
Yes... Now we know who truely are our alies. The Saudi's are directly responsible for supporting the radical Islam movements throughout the Arab world and Osama Bin Ladin in particular. I do not agree with many of the Obama Adminstation's policies but there is one area that I am totally in alignment with.... That is, we need to reduce/eliminate our dependance on foreign oil.... I can't wait for the day when we can tell them to take their oil and drink it because we do not need it!!!
Jack: I have respect for every culture-–and every culture has their "divide,"--–and every culture has good and evil in it. With the war in Iraq and Afganastain--well let's say they have become more visible--my feeling remains the same---and their is a lot most Americans don't understand.
The more I know the less respect I have for anything Muslim. They either support terrorism or do not condemn it, they deny rights to women and are extremely closed-minded of anything not Muslim. They don't arouse anything warm and fuzzy in me.
Blaming all Muslims for the acts of the Terrorists is like blaming all Catholics for the killing of the Abortion Doctor.
We have as much hate in this country between republicans and democrats as the different factions of the muslims do – in their countries.
What's to be afraid of? We kill each other in the name of religion. So do they. There's no difference.
My opinion has not changed of Muslim countries – my opinion of some of the hate-mongers in this country is changing my mind about continuing to live here.
No Jack. My opinion of the Muslim world has not changed at all. Moslems of Arab descent (or from the Middle East) make up less than 15% of the total global population of the faith. While major problems exist between the west and this particular group, the truth is that the United States enjoys far more cordial relationships with a majority of the "Muslim world." Even as a Christian, I have always admired the Islamic faith and I have even adopted some tenets of that wonderful faith. No one will ever lump all well-meaning Americans with the hatred spewed by certain neo conservative elements. I hope that this discussion shifts from being one about Islam to its reality… a simple political problem in the Middle East.
Actually, I've never disliked Muslim countries...only terrorists. You know, bin Laden and his band of un-merry men (Rob from the rich and the poor). I never had any complaints about muslim countries, well, maybe Libya years ago.
As for polls, I've never been asked anything in a poll. I trust Obama and am happy he is using some diplomacy...something Republicans don't even have within our own country (i.e. Sotomayor).
Muslims have their own culture and I have my own...so? They're not all terrorists, you know.
Jack, The news media has a lot to answer for in terms of the question you pose in your article, as too do the US politicians who milked the Them + Us slogan for their own selfish political gain. In fact, it wasn't until Obama started winning some primaries that Muslims in countries like Iran and Turkey as well as Muslims in other Western countries like the UK sat up and thought 'Finally here's a guy that will treat us as humans, as opposed to 2nd class citizens'.
No my feelings haven't changed. With few exceptions, these are nations with corrupt, autocratic governments who demonize all non-Islamic people to preserve their own power and privileged by distracting their appropriately dissatisfied populations. The populace is also radicalized by their religious leaders and schools. It's true that over 90% of Muslims are not terrorists, but it is also true that over 90% of the world's terrorists are Muslims. Polls amongst Palestinians show more than 80% favor suicide bombings and other terrorist behavior. Their main political parties are Hamas and Fatah, both terrorist organizations.
Muslim countries are not an homogenous block. Egypt is very different from Indonesia, Iran or Yemen. Lebanon is in itself a very diverse mosaic. And within each country, opposing forces of fundamentalism, modernism, and democracy are at play. So Jack, your question is impossible to answer. Maybe it's time to look beyond words like "the Muslim world" (which spans a couple of continents, dozens of countries, multiple linguistic, national and ethnic groups), or "Islamic fundamentalism" (which, in North American medias, covers anything from veiling one's head to terrorist acts). And maybe it's time to attempt to understand the complexity of the "Muslim world" before deciding how our perception has changed.
It's like mixing oil and water or mixing people from different centuries. It dosen't seem to work. I'm sorry to say that although I know little about the muslim world, I have grown much more distrustful of them over the years. I'm not ready to condem the religion in general , but they are causing tremendous cultural changes throughout the world. with their mass migration patterns, Intolerance for the various sects in their own religion and their methods of dealing with that intolerance is difficult to comprehend.
No, not really. Many Americans probably feel that the Muslim world is at war with us is because our leadership has financed Israel in its invasions of Muslim countries and its murdering of thousands of innocent Muslims and, of course, because of our own country's invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. What amazes me is that every single Muslim over there does not hate us based on the last administration's record in the Middle East.
Not at all, They are good people, but for a few hundred thousand nuts, so way can't we all get along...
Central Islip, NY
No. I didn't care too much about them before and I don't care much about them now. At least no more so than any other particular group.
Absolutely!! At one time I saw Muslims as ultra conservative; discipline; God fearing; and respectful of other. Since the declaration of jihad by the extremist on the United States and the subsequent failures of the moderates and conservatives Muslims to speak up for what was right as they did in the 1960's caused me to question no so much the Muslim faith but the real motives of Muslims countries and Governments when it come to the West.
Yes. Until 9/11 and our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, I believed that radical Muslims were the exception and not the rule. Now I believe that radical Muslims account for a significant number within their population. I am more concerned about our involvement in those countries than ever before.
I don't trust ordinary Muslims or their leaders.
You have to earn my trust. So far I'm not trusting.
There is a difference. If a Catholic sees another Catholic or Christian murder someone or commit treason they would not think twice about turning them in. A Muslim doesn't care and does nothing. That will always cause mistrust. So no my feelings have not changed.
No. I saw a story on World Focus, a news show from Deutsce Welle airing on PBS, that told of Egypt's move to cull the entire pig population, ostensibly because of Swine flu. This move had a devastating effect on the Christian minority in that country. This is Islam's biggest problem. In using organs of state against religious minorities, Muslims display a level of religious bigotry rarely found in other religions. Obama has to his credit undertaken the mission to do so 'splainin' to the Islamic world. Islam has a lot of 'splainin' to do itself and isn't doing a very good job.
Labeling Muslim countries and peoples feelings about them is senseless. people from every country are good and evil in proportionality.
The major issues around the Muslim world is their leaders. Countries such as Morocco have stability and leadership with sense! Jordan is in this category as well.
I do know that the internet is making a difference, because information about the world is not filtered by despots any longer!
Jeff C in New Britain, CT
I think there is a real opportunity here for President Obama to create a real dialogue and open up the negative mindset that we, as Americans, have towards the Muslim world. I believe these are exciting times and feel comfortable with our President transcending this diplomacy into something meaningful. The timing is now for Americans to let their inherent hatred towards these people be absolved and realize that the radical sect of these people are a minority group in count.
No, I still feel the same- positive. I never harbored any ill will toward Muslim countries. They are just parts of the earth with artificial boundaries like us. I don't let a few extremist change my feelings about a group. That's called ignorance, stereotyping, prejudice, and racism!! Anyone who doesn't like these peoples can also be labeled this in adjective form.
Actually, Jack, my feeling haven't changed about Muslims over the last few years, they have changed about Bush, Cheney and the Republican party, though. I have found out that I've been lied to, and that pisses me off.
I don't think so Jack. These countries still treat women badly. When you gouge a woman's eyes because she can read it's just to terrible to for words. If there is such a thing as reincarnation I damn sure don't want to come back to that kind of a country or that knid of a religion.
Most of the world does not let religion rule their lives and government like Muslims do. Religion and government should be separate, and until that happens, goverments controlled by religion will be looked down upon by the rest of the world.
It never was bad! It’s not the people who are bad; it’s a select group of extremist who are the bad ones.
Jack, I think its wrong to group all muslim countries together (Indonesia is a deeply religious muslim country!). It doesn't help the debate and it adds to the feelings of distrust on both sides. The problem here is extremism, not religion.
Yes, they have changed to more negative viewpoints because nothing has changed on their part. More of the same-o same-o.
I dont think my feelings have changed toward muslim countries. I was able to distinguish Islamic ideology from Terror. It is yet to be seen however if these countries have a better view toward us, now that we have a president that is more balanced in our foreign policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian fiasco. So lets revisit this question once we've had a chance to see what it would be like with a U.S President extending a hand rather than a fist.
Hey Jack Muslim countries are just like all countries good and bad in all people
We should not judge people by their religion but rather by their individual actions. The polls only reflect the attitudes of people who, for the most part, only get one-sided (read negative) representations about the other. Have we not yet gotten Dr. King's message about the content of ONE's character? We will ever learn?
Jack, I love these research polls I have never been contacted by anyone with questions from CNN.
As for Muslim countries; we have for decades tried to tell the entire world how to live and when we have citizens from those countries in our custody and we deny them the very rights we insist that we stand for it is time for this country to either stand for the democratic values that we claim or stop tring to tell everyone else how to live. Thank God Pres Obama understands this.
Over the past few years, I've lived under a hard-line, ultra-conservative government that was unresponsive to the greater majority of its people. I'm speaking about living through the Bush administration, of course. Most people are more moderate than the governments that represent them.
My feelings about the Muslim countries have not altered over the past several years – the majority of Muslims are peace-loving, good citizens. It is the minority of Islam-Muslim extremists – the Muslim terrorists – that give the decent Muslims a bad name and cause so many North Americans to distrust all Muslims, unfortunately. I hope that the majority of decent, peace-loving Muslims also do not fear or distrust the great majority of North Americans, who also realize it is just the terrorist fringe elements of our society that are causing all the heartache and bloodshed throughout the world today.
Of course, it is subject to change. Particularly, when mainstream media is playing such a big role in shaping and re-shaping the public opinion. It has been Islam that replaced communism in the post-Cold War West.
My feelings toward the Muslim people is favorable , just not their governents.
Well the problem I have is with the radicals within and not the religion. I am respectful of them but not totally 100% trusting of all. Is that different from pre 9-11?. Yes it is. Pre 9-11, I had no defined or formed opinion of Muslims or the religion.
No. I always had a neutral view on the Muslim countries. It's only common sense. But if this is about Obama's impact, there doesn't seem to be any.
Muslims are fundementally good people. Its just that many Americans are ignorant about Islam and Arabic culture and ideologies. It is the ignorance that keeps people in the Dark Ages. Once people educate themselves about Muslims people will recognize that their differences are not outweighed by their similarities. Muslims are not the boogey man. It is only a group inside of that group that need to be delt with.
President Obama needs to clarify to everyone that, no matter where in the world you live, no matter the language you read your bible in, and what you call it or your religion, there is only one God. There aren't two or three, battling it out for souls, or even spiritual "neighborhoods", separated by or for such backgrounds. Only one God made this Earth and all the universe. Killing in the name of your God or religion sends you to Hell, not Heaven. He made us imperfect. Becoming more imperfect through murdering innocents is a guarantee for the ticket downstairs in every religion that worships an almighty Creator.
More recently my views on the muslim world has changed. I feel that people should be more open minded to people of a different religion and culture. I believe that the Muslim culture is a great one and I respect it a lot. I feel like Islam is nothing more than a positive religion and should only be viewed as such. People should sop believing the "hype" and should come to understand things on their own.
Yes, my feelings about the muslim world have changed over the last several years and for the worse.
The concept that we, in the U.S., don't discriminate against religious preference is based upon the premise that a particular religion doesn't declare a jihad on us. All bets are off. The founding fathers never envisioned a war-like religion. There was no 911 then.
If the Jewish, Christian or Catholic religious leaders declared war against the U.S., you can bet they'd experience a backlash too. Why does the muslim religion feel they should be granted impunity by America?
I am ashamed to say that I am very prejudiced against Muslims beause I abhor prejudice, but the vitriol spewed by the radical Muslims are so extreme in their hatred for Americans and Jews that it is frightening. I wish that the moderate Muslims could speak out against the extremests with enough force to balance the hateful rhetoric. Boca Raton ,Florida
No, Jack my feelings about Muslim countries have not changed over the last several years. Indeed, I would be curious to know how many of those polled were minorities. You see Jack, Caucasians typically suffer from ethnocentrism meaning that they view themselves as thee center of all issues. Caucasians are more likely to view the world and our nation through a lens colored by a belief system shared only by them. One need only look at the misery the GOP finds itself in of late. They are victims of their party majority: Old white men hanging on to an exclusive and outdated ethnocentrism. They will heal when they realize that being patriotic does not mean being white any more than being christian equates with being white. Most importantly and in answering this question more specifically: White people do not have to fear views different from their own so much that they the need to attack and conquer anyone whose beliefs (Muslims) are different from their own...this is not a minority american problem.
Not at all, what has the Muslim world done to illicit our trust and warm
feelings. That piece of garbage Bin Laden would have been caught
years ago if it wasn't for the Muslim world. Americans have heard
nothing but hatred from the Muslim world, but we are supposed to trust them. Not on your life, the best thing we can do is keep our Military
strong and our National Defense stronger. After 9/11 I find it very
difficult to trust any Muslim. What happened in Arkansas a few days
Islam is a hateful and violent religion, and has been for 1300 years. Period.
Only with Saudi Arabia and Taliban areas because of their treatment of women. This treatment has only seriously come to light since 9/11.
Muslims are people of good values and should not as a whole be judged by the terrible actions of their extreme right. Christians, Jews and all others should never be judged by those actions of a few.
We are so alike and yet we both try really hard to find the differences in each other. It is ultimately up to me to be open and welcoming.
No. They don't believe in individual rights. They kill their women if they "bring shame" on the husband/father. A percieved insult results in a feud that can last for centuries. They believe killing anyone that isn't one of them is acceptable.
Yes, of course my feelings have changed! Prior to 9/11 I didn't spend much time thinking about Muslim countries. Since then I've read several books about the countries and their people. By reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen I learned the most valuable lesson of all: if we go into these countries and provide the people with things they really need like education (especially for women) and health care we will win their hearts and they will not be vulnerable to our enemies. On the other hand, by providing weapons and military might we will only inflame and enrage them. This, unfortunately, leaves an opportunity for the Taliban or Al Qaeda to move in, provide militant education, and develop an army of young people to fight against us. I wish President Obama would rethink his Pakistan strategy – He should host a special dinner for Greg Mortensen!
I have always been open minded but since 9-11, living in the New York area at the time, I have often wondered WHY the Imam's and those Muslims who believe in peace do not speak out more harshly and denounce the violence and Jihad committed in the name of their faith. In some ways you could say it is akin to the Germans and other decent human beings not speaking up during Hitler's regime. That is all it takes for evil to triumph. So until I hear more from them, I remain doubtful.
Follow up: A more recent example of subjectivity in the Media is that on Sunday a Christian extremist killed a doctor in a church because the doctor was performing abortion... and the next day on Monday, another person with a muslim name killed a soldier in an army recruitment facility. The media reported both incidents, but the first one as "vandalism" and the second one as an act of "terrorism".
Jack, as a merchant mariner, I've traveled most of my life. A good part of the time to the muslim nations. Our cultures are very different. We don't need to fall in love, just get along. I'm not a Buddist, but Ilive part time in a Buddist country. I love thier live and let live philosphy. I niether look up to or down on anyone. I try to look at them and somehow get along. Jim Sloan/ Phoenixville, Pa.
I believe that this generation has got to come to an understanding ,or take the time to explore .Gain a little insight to what Islam really is and not take others opinions but make your own assesment.the muslims do not have the same beliefs we have just like we dont understand them.if we all could sit down at a table with each other Ill bet we will all find a common ground somewhere.After all who wants to fight forever.Remember that sticker "I hate mean people".I spent ten years overseas while in the service and Im a proud veteran,but I disagree with how some people dislike each other just because ..with no justification.Religion should not preclude you from opening up your mind to a broader sense and enjoying what other cultures have to offer ,instead of promoting hate or discord. DESERTSTORM91
I'd like to think that this is because I'm getting older and wiser – if anything I feel I have more understanding of the muslim world and some sympathy for certain peoples plights such as the Palestinians. I think the problem for a lot of people is two things when it comes to the muslim world – the christian religion and the my god is better than your god debate and just plain fear of the unknown and ignorance of the fact that most muslims are not terrorists.
Scott M. Danville VA
I hadn't paid much attention being the typical American soccer mom, but the recent Gaza atrocity brought the plight of the Palestinians to my attention and the more I learn, the more I realize that we in the United States have wrongly demonized the Palestinians. I am proud of President Obama for having the guts to "be honest with Israel". He is a very skillful leader and I have great hope for a more peaceful world because of him.
The side that I see in the Muslim world is ugly, uncivilized, and fanatical when it comes to religion.
How can my feelings change for the good about the Muslim world when they don't even like each other. Hell, you need proof, just watch CNN. They are still blowing up their own, by suicide bombing, to prove what,I don't know.
In this country, we treat people that are suicidal. In the Muslim world they welcome it. They need an intervention. I can't except them as civilized.
If 8 years of Bush has taught me anything, it's that those in power don't necessarily reflect the people they're supposed to represent. The people of the Middle East are - for the most part - ruled by tyrants, megalomaniacs, and corrupt politicians who don't have the support of their own people. The Muslim World was once the most progressive, forward-thinking society on the face of the Earth. I hope Obama can start a trend and help the Middle East lift itself back to its former glory.
This poll question is absolutely ridiculous. There are so many different Muslim countries that it's impossible to group them into one yes or no opinion poll. It's the same thing as asking people in any Muslim country is they have favorable opinions of countries with white people in them. The question itself would make the assumption that Muslims think all white countries are exactly the same. In that regard, we are assuming that all Muslim countries are the same, they are not. This isn't the type of question you can answer in a yes or no.
I formed my opinion of Muslim countries decades ago. I don't go there. Women traveling alone are considered fair game. I don't like their religion, and I don't like them. Please note, I'm not a fan of religion in general, and I don't like Christianity much either, but compared to Islam, it's Nirvana for women.
Though I want to have a positive view of all cultures and countries, I find it difficult to respect Muslim countries that do not treat women as equal to men.
I will never foget what happened on 9/11. I was only 16 when the world trade center was bombed and WILL NEVER FORGET the videos of people Celibrating and burning our flag!
The problem I have is with the radicals within and not the religion. I am respectful of them but not totally 100% trusting of all. Is that different from pre 9-11?. Yes it is. Pre 9-11, I had no defined or formed opinion of Muslims or the religion.
I have worked with people from the Middle East for ten years. In 2007-2008, I had the good fortune to go to Egypt for a 6-month assignment where we interacted with Muslims, many of whom became dear friends. They are much like us. Their lives, their ambitions, their goals are very similar to ours. The differences are minor and we had a wonderful time with some very gracious, kind, generous, loving people, whom I am proud to call friends.
Jack, My view of Muslim countries has actually improved significantly in the last 10 years. During that time I have learned how the United States has tried to influence and manipulate these countries in ways that could only be described as self-serving and even Machiavellian. I have also learned how gracious, educated, and wise the people from these countries actually are– nothing like the prejudicial image we have been given by politicians and corporate media.
We are taught to love our neighbors and to love our enemies. It is a global world and we should realize we are all related (brothers and sisters) since we share the same Father. I do not think you can solve hatred with war or more hatred.
Bill in Dalton, Ga
Jack, no one's feelings on either side will change unless the Israeli-Palestinian problem is handled. I know that this is not a popular opinion with the Jews, but the Muslim terrorism breathes on Palestine. Terrrorism started with the Palestinian problem and got worst as we have one sidedly supported Israel. President Obama seems to understand that and hopefully he will make some headway on this issue. That is when you will see a change of heart on the side of the Arabs. As far as American people not caring about this goes: They better care until we are not dependant on the Arabic oil anymore.
No, my feelings have not changed. It's not my job to try to convince people of the Islamic faith to "like" me or my country. If they do, then great.....but a lot of radical Islamic extremists want to do to the U.S. what they have done to Great Britain...move in, destroy a wonderful culture and replace it with their own.....for Muslims who share that goal, I hold only contempt.
Jack, Having spent three of the past five years in Iraq, yes it has. My opinion of the Muslim world has changed dramtically for the better. They are a people of tremendous moral character and open to embrace those who may not share their same values but always try to find some common ground. We have invaded and occupied one of their countries for apparantly no valid purpose other than to further our own selfish and greedy agendas. They feel we are at war with them Jack because eight years of Bush/Cheny have demonstrated precisely that. They are a most forbearing people and I feel fortunate to call them my friends. I'm proud that our President has taken the initative to heal some long and very deep wounds.
As long as people believe in the idiocy of religion there will be religious wars. The U.S. is just as guilty because we are 'Christian'. There is no god or any type of creator.. Until the human species accepts this we are all going to be at war. Has anyone noticed that communist countries do not allow religion? That's because their governments know that religion leads to nothing but violence. It would be wonderful if someone could actually prove the existence of any god but since there isn't one it will never happen and we will all be in a continuing spiral of violence and war.
Yes. In December 2008, my husband I visited Morocco. In an attempt to show respect, I wore a black scarf that covered my hair completely. We both wore long black raincoats. We were walking away from the marketplace and a man ran up to us and started screaming at me, telling me that I should be praying. We tried to quicken our pace to get away. We thought we had succeeded. I started to look over my left shoulder and suddenly, he was there, screaming again. He then spit in my face. A few blocks later another man screamed at me and said, "You should be praying! What is wrong with you?" We found an international hotel where I could wash my face. I was quite shaken. Later, an employee on the ship said she would ask her local friends about the situation. She came back and said that they probably thought we were muslims. It was prayer time. Who knew???
We see these types of poll numbers because of the image of the middle east forced upon us by the media. As Americans, we are continually sheltered from reality and often only see half of the story. Who to blame? Ourselves.
Few of us have a hunger to understand the world around us. Often, we are raised in a very self-focused society not ever really even understanding how much there is out there to learn about. How many people know who serves as the president of Mexico or the Prime Minister of Canada? How many people could explain to you the difference between Islam and Christianity? By the way, both religions worship the same God.
I recently had the opportunity to vist the Middle East (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates). Immediately upon arrival I was SHOCKED at how much of a misunderstanding I had of the culture and people. Not everything about the region is negative. Many places in the world aren't all they're talked up to be. Its important to realize that we need to make our OWN analyses of anything we are asked to opinionize. Continually making votes or comments based on someone else's information will always make you trip over your feet.
As a proud American, I have no problem stating that we have always been naive and ignorant about the world beyond our borders. It was never the Muslim countries that we should have directed our anger towards, but the extremists individuals that initiated 911. We did not hate Americans when the Oklahoma bombings occurred on our soil despite Americans perpetrating that act. We were smart enough to separte good Americans from bad American, so we should also be smart enough to know the difference here, but maybe I am expecting to much from my fellow patriots....
I've never had a problem with Muslim nations. My problem is with that small radical element among them that has twisted their beliefs into something evil, much as certain elements in America have done with Christianity. Muslims have their problems with religious fanatics like Al Qaeda, just our country has problems with religious fanatics like the American terrorist that murdered Dr. Tiller a few days ago.
My views of Muslim countries have NOT changed in the last few years, despite the constant propaganda and evident harshness many Americans have towards muslims in general. I have taken in upon myself to travel to many Muslim countries within the last decade, including Palestine, Jordan, and Turkey. While many make it seem as if muslim women are oppressed I saw women all around, working, laughing, and keeping fashionable. But my views towards American foreign policy did change. While I did not justify many Muslims' tenseness towards us I understood why it existed, especially Palestine, which has fallen victim to a denfenseless occupation and brutal genocide thanks to our constant support of Israel. -Chicago, IL
YES. Just a few years ago, my family hosted a Muslim high school exchange student from Thailand for a year. Our family was asked at the last minute to help out as the original host family had backed out. Having only a couple of days to consider this AND to bring a Muslim girl into our Christian home was a lot for me to consider.
The result? I probably learned the most from this experience in our family . . . that we truly have more in common than we realize. This experience has made me much more able to accept other beliefs/cultures, not to necessary agree with them, but to understand and learn from each other. Yes, there may be "bad" Muslim groups in the world and perhaps a higher percentage of Muslims may fall in this category than some other groups. However, this is no excuse to hate all.
This experience has truly made me a better Christian. I think God sent me a Muslim child to learn how strong a Christian I am.
Nope, if u go deeper in there religion, its religion which teaches hate for other religions, in muslim countries the problem is they cannot seprate religion and state ....
Can we Americans be left to believe that our proud country as a whole has to rely on our president to explain to america what islam is about. It would appear that americans are unaware of the amount of aide that our country sends to the muslim world every year. Is it truly the presidents responsibility to make people aware of the rest of the world.
We can't lump all Muslims together or paint them with a broad brush. There are bad people in every group or society. Classic example, a religious extremist just killed Dr. Tiller. It is not group as a whole, it is the extremists. The reason we haven't had any real chance at peace in the Middle East is because of extremism on both the Muslim world and in Israel.
My view of Muslims has changed in recent years because:
As an Israeli that lives in New York, I always thought that not all Muslims are full of hate and just like anybody else; the “hateful” once are a minority. In recent years my view has changed, they are all full of hate and all believe that killing innocent people can be justified by the teaching of Islam and Mohammad.
New York- Israel
Of course as an educated Muslim American my feelings have always been positive and identifiable towards Muslim countries. However, there should be a distinction made between Arab and Muslim people and the often corrupt rulers that they are "lead" by. I do not share the same views of my fellow Americans towards Muslims, some of whom wrongly believe that most if not all Muslims are terrorists and are ironically as extremist, ignorant, and racist as the small minority of Muslims who ignorantly hate America. However, my feelings towards Arab and non democratic Muslim states and the corrupt leaders who rule these states with an iron fist remain negative.
Actually it has. For years,I labored under the opinion that the fanaticism that was depicted about Muslims had to be the exception rather than the rule.
But, year after year, there has been little to no call from "moderate" Muslims to counter the inflamatory hate that I've come to associate with that particular religion. And, that they (the Muslims) allow the radicals to blow up civilians, including children with apparent impuntity and tacit support has caused me to think that this particular religion and it's followers are a lost cause.
I no longer think a religious war is possible, I think it's inevitable.
Hi Jack, I'm a Muslim from Bosnia, I love this country (usa) more than anything, but it really hurts, when you hear bad things about muslims!!
We are not all the same
Years of negitive news story tend to shift opinions in both directions. My feelings toward the muslim world and their people have'nt changed at all, but those feeling are always under attack by extremist here and abroad.
In the last few years, I have made a concerted effort to better understand the Muslim world - for example, I listen to Link TV's Mosaic and Al Jazeera daily. While Islam is one of the last religions that I would consider joining, I have developed a great deal of sympathy for Muslims. There are extremist Muslims just as there are extremist Christians. Most Muslims, just as most Christians, simply want to live a decent, law abiding life. Unfortunately, that has been made very difficult for many Muslims largely because of actions by the USA. With better understanding, most Muslims and most Christians could live together very nicely with religion not a significant consideration.
Jim, Craig, CO
No, they haven't changed. But, I am one of those Libertarians who believes we do not have the right to attack another country, pre-emptively or for regime change. I believe that people in other country are very much like us, we want security, safe places to raise our children and basic freedoms.
The Iraq War was billed as a pre-emptive attack before they attacked us. Very much like the rationale used by the Nazi for invading Poland. Our whole news media must be questioned for not questioning the motives for going to war and instead, being cheerleaders for American invasions of innocent countries that have not threatened us. The war has made us into terrorists who have killed countless innocent Iraqis and we have become what we are fighting. The neo-cons want this country in a state of permanent war and Obama has been left with the legacy of two wars which even he cannot end.
Specific criticisms of Arab Muslim countries are valid; as are those of our own country. The treatment of women, religious murders. The Iraq War widened the chasm and filled many of the people in these countries with teeming hatred of us, and over here we were posioned with a spat of paranoia about them. Time for both sides of this Earth to take a step back and look inwards before blaming all our problems on people in foreign counries.
I have thought globally ever since I've been able to think, so your question really isn't meaningful to me. How can we, in the US, have an opinion about another culture that is so different from our own. It isn't a fair question. I am so sick of the arrogance of most of America in thinking that our way is the only way. A better question would be "are you more curious and interested in the Muslim world than you used to be?" And if the answer is yes, then maybe that's a little bit of progress. Thank God, President Obama is trying to correct some of this arrogant thinking and trying to repair the mess. We have no right to judge. We have the right not to understand, and we have the right to study and learn why certain things are the way they are and then hopefully to begin to understand, but we know nothing about other cultures unless we've lived them. We must begin to reach out to everyone in some way!
I'm in my later years, a part time professor at a college in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (yes, the Republican, backward, red-neck Bible Belt Oklahoma).
In Saudi Arabia, as in most Muslim countries, people are executed for changing their religion, womwn are stoned to death for adultry, arms and legs are hacked off for theft, females are treated no better than goats and camels, so what are we doing to make Obama think we have to improve our image in the Muslim worls.
My feelings on Islam did not change due to 9/11, they changed when I did a combat tour in Iraq. One day they would praise you giving a thumbs up "U.S.A. Bush good! Bush good!" the next day there shooting at you and throwing rocks and shoes. Maybe for myself my feelings changed when I started seeing my fellow soldiers get blown up and started having to shot people in self defense. Its not the people of the Islamic world as much as it is the Sheiks and Imams who twist the words of the Koran for the good in their needs. Like our politicians they won't get in a car full of artillery rounds and drive through a U.S. check point. They will brain wash the poor illiterate farming population in the same manner as our government will with patriotism and nationalism to expand their own wealth. I think President Obama needs to stop apologizing to Islamic countries and start apologizing to the soldiers of these two wars who come home to no jobs, an out dated G.I. Bill, and really extremely poor and over crowded veterans hospitals. Israel has been our friend in that region for many years I think it would be respectful if the President spoke to there President with his face and not his back. The Islamic world is not a big issue we have domestic issues at home that need more attention than bowing to the rulers of oil rich nations. After all we are still going to pay $5 a gallon this summer anyway.
Jack my feeling towards Islam and the muslim world has always remained the same, because I was never ignorant to believe all the anit Islam sentiment nonesense that was coming out of the last administration. I've always known that Islam was not the problem but the extremists and the Jihadists.
Islamic extremism is what I had and will always have problems with and I think the American public needs some education on this issue and I appreciate that the United States now has a president that realizes that the United States should not be perceived as a nation that is at war with Islam.
My feelings about Muslim countries has not changed in the last several years. I don't think they ttrust us and I don't trust them. The leaders of Muslim countries will never control Muslim extermists (terrorists) and I'm not convinced they want to. So what will President Obama gain from this trip? Hopefully, more than I expect.
I have always had a positive view of Muslim countries. I think that the biggest issue between the United States and Muslim nations has been a lack of understanding between both cultures. For 8 years the previous administration led us to believe that the muslim world was out to attack our ideals and freedoms while at the same time never attempting to understand theirs. If the Obama Administration continues to push for diplomacy and peace instead of using military force, I believe the relationship between the U.S. and the Middle East can drastically improve the way we are viewed by Muslim countries.
We on both sides of the world need to remember that in most cases its not our nations as a whole that have harsh feelings but rather the extreme political and religious views of individuals themselves...asa global community we should strive to eliminate animosity through informing ourselves and our children.
Not really, but I feel sorry for the many who are innocent Muslims, The biggest part of those Country's people aren't in with the Terroist.
It is a lot like what goes on in the USA. Most of our people are law abiding citizens. Then there are the ones who kill Recruiters, Doctors, Family, etc. Those people are what I call home grown Terrorist.
I have more respect and understanding for the Muslim countries than I do for the USA.
50% of America, or MORE, will still look at a person from the Middle East and wonder if they are a terrorist.
How is that any different from how the Muslim terrorists feel about the USA?
America has become a Racist country toward the Muslims.
I'm so glad that Canada is still well liked around the world.
Muslims are more welcomed here than they are in the USA.
Canadians to not automatically wonder if a person of the Muslim faith is a terrorist.
It has Nothing to do with the fact that we were not attacked.
Canadians do not have racist thoughts toward any one particular culture.
No, Jack,they haven't. I have never hated Muslims. People forget that there are three Great Abrahamic Religions:
Islam......... Judaism ..... and Christianity. We are all children of the same GOD.
To hate Muslims, because SOME are terrorists, is the SAME as hating ALL Germans because of the Nazis!
Or all Japanese because of Pearl Harbor! Nuts.
When I was a teenager (I am now 78 years old) my best friend growing up in West New York, New Jersey was a lovely girl by the name of Lillian Mustafa. I am Catholic, Lillian was of the Muslim faith.
Not only was she gorgeous on the outside, she was also beautiful on the inside. Thinking back, the neighborhood was a mixture not unlike the League of Nations. We had Christians, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, you name it and we all got along famously. It seems that the Bush presidencies, both father and son, with the Gulf War and the Iraq War created the abysmal, tragic situation we now find ourselves in .
Jack, it isn’t the PC thing to say, but most people really do prefer people who are like themselves, not in terms of superficial things like dress or skin color, but core values. Child marriages, suicide bombers, women abused and kept ignorant, cult-like religious programming, frantic over-breeding – you find these everywhere to some extent, but they seem to be the norm in many Muslim cultures. The more I hear, the more I fear.
Have my feelings about muslim countries changed? Absolutely. I used think that we could all co-exist together and I even believed President Bush back in '03 when he said we would be "greeted as liberators" both in Iraq and Afghanistan. So why does the muslim world still have so much animosity towards us after we've sacrificed so much for them both in blood and money. I used to be optomistic but I now believe that you can't just go around spreading democracy anywhere you want. Democracy is won when an entire nation stands united and is ready to fight and die for it; just as we were some 200 years ago. Until then all I can say is that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.
The Bible shows that there is a Trinity of God and a Trinity of Satan (Revelation 20: 10) in the World, and we are also told to Love our neighbors as ourselves, so our duty is not to hate Muslims but to lead them to their Redeemer, whenever possible.
They are people as you and I are and my feelings have not changed despite the fact of the actions of a select group of extremists muslims. Osama Bin Laden does not speak for the entire muslim community nor does anyone in Al Queda for that matter. I love everyone as my brother and sister and yes that also includes muslims
Allow me to put this to you, and to the world: you're doing it wrong. We speak of "Muslim" countries, but would we ever speak of "Christian" countries in the same way? Would we expect Mexico to be in social and political lockstep with Latvia? If the answer is no, then why do we speak of "Muslim" countries? My feelings about some countries with a Muslim majority have changed in the past few years, yes. But I feel that we need to look more carefully at what is happening in individual countries, as well as among various international groups that adhere to varying interpretations of Islam, and make nuanced, careful, and individual judgments based on facts, not prejudices.
Jack im optimistic when Pakistan stands up to terrorists but pessimistic when more hearts and minds are lost to Al-Queda and the Taliban. They have extremists we have extremists; we can control ours–they cant. Negative views on both aisles would change when we realize the "insane" minorities' views dont reflect the majority. These views are compounded when we're inundated with fear (clears throat)
Neither Islam nor the west are going anywhere so we better figure out how to get along.
Having served in Afghanistan and Iraq going on 4 times, I can truthfully say that Islamic religion is deceptive by telling everyone that they accept non-Muslims with open arms and no strings attached. Their ancient customs from Islam's inception still demand that Muslims not associate with Jews or Christians, and demand either conversion or death from the infidel.
So far, we haven't given that area of the world any reason to trust us. Mutual trust is going to take time & effort on both sides.
In no way do I support Islamic radicals, extremists, murdering bombers, the 9-11 monsters and the like. However, I do not believe we begin to understand them. We have done absolutely nothing to win their trust or support. We have tried to shove our Democratic and western way of life down their throats for decades. We supported the deposed Shaw of Iran, who was a despot. We support Israel's high-tech onslaught against the Palestinean's "sticks and stones" weaponry. We invaded a sovereign nation, Iraq, for no legal or moral reason. We only do what serves our interests. We need to take a good look in the mirror, we have done nothing to win over their hearts or minds. Throw in Bush's despicable approach, lack of diplomacy, and perceived war on Islam, and here we are.
Yes, my feelings about the Muslims have changed.
In spite of their violent conquests in history, I thought they would stay peaceful in modern times. But new events like 9/11, an aggressive influx of Muslims to Europe and to U.S., hatred toward other cultures, especially Judeo-Christian, only prove their unchanged since 6th century goal of subjugating the world by violence, coersion and terror. All this is commanded to them in the Koran. Just read it!
Muslims, Jews, and Christians should all learn to live together in peace, after all, we even worship the same God, the one true God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We should learn more about each others religions, and the peaceful message that is provided for us in various parts of each others Bibles. We all share the prophet of Moses, who teaches that God wants us to follow the rules of the Ten Commandments, a concept that humans have struggled with since God has given it. I hope one day in our lifetime, we will not learn how to make war anymore with each other, and just share food and the means to promote self sufficiency in every country, no matter what religion they are, we need to show that we care, that is the greatest preventative of hostility.
Look at how we've treated them... Patriot Act, Gitmo, etc. Cheney just recently stressed the fact that 1 out of 7 detainees released from Gitmo went back to terrorism.. But wait.. that means 6 out of 7 didn't and likely never were terrorists in the first place. It's no wonder we think they hate us. They have 6 out of 7 reasons to do so.
I think it is entirely unfair to judge the Muslim world by the actions of extremist groups who identify as Muslims. That would be like judging Christianity by the actions of the nuts who kill abortion doctors in the name of God. I think there is an inherent distrust between our worlds simply because our customs are so different. Everything from religious practices to gender equality to social identity is as different as you can get between America and the Muslim world. But whose way is really better? We may have more "freedom" but we have our share of mass murderers, psychotic nutcases, and hatred flowing throughout our society too. I think if we could all just learn to live our own lives as best we can while respecting those with different beliefs, we would all do a lot better to get along and gain some trust along the way.
Yes, because I can think for myself and know how nothing but negative propaganda can affect how we as Americans feel about Muslims and vice versa.
It appears to me that the US is basing its opinion of an entire people based on the actions of a tiny, tiny group. That's like Muslims judging all of America based on what Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh say.
My opinion of muslims have not changed. I grew up with muslims who were predominant in Dearborn Michigan. I found out the only thing they understood was brute force. I firmly believe that 85% of all muslims are not civilized. There is no way you can negotiate or win the hearts and minds of muslims. You mind as well talk to a brick wall. To make my point, you have to ask how Saddam Hussein stayed in power for over 40 years while the Iraqi people supposedly hated him. It is also a fact that muslims were attacking the Christian countries for the past 1300 years. Before that, they were Persians attacking civilized countries. Everybody remembers the battle of Thermopylae when they were persians. This will go on until the western world wakes up.
I have not been suaded by -any- religion. I live Life as best I can, always helping my fellow woman/ man whenever I can. I believe in the muslim people just as much as I believe in Catholics, Judaism, Christianity, Zoraster, etc. They all have common roots. If we could just get past the differences, the world would be a much more understanding and better place. Until then, I will continue to be critical of those who try to push their ideology on me.
In a world alive with the hope for a prosperous future it is hard to trust anyone that believes in killing for their God, real or imaginary. If followers of any religion do not speak out against killing those in other religions because of their beliefs they are listening to a false prophet and not God.
Paul Jack Mendoza
Santa Fe, New Mexico
No.I'm not fond of Muslims countries. Their treatment of women is shameful.Then there is 9/11/01; US Cole; US Embassies; 1st. World Trade Center bombing; US Marines barracks-I could go on & on. I hope Pres. Obama explains why most Americans are down on Islam. Most Muslims have been silent on these atrocities. Speak up if you really want peace.
A resounding NO!! Mr. Cafferty. I've never had a problem with Muslim people and never will. It would be the same as hating all Christians because of the KKK. There's always some idiots in every crowd and you can't hate a whole group of people for it, take people one at a time, there are jerks everywhere.
It's not the people , but the government that is the problem. I don't care what their religious practices are, but do not approve of how they treat women. That part of their culture will be the hardest obstacle for anyone to change, but we must keep on trying.
Using the "Muslim World" as a term is a bit too broad for me, because the diversity of actions and choices Islamic countries have made in the past few years is big. However, if I should use this term, then I would say no, and if anything, my opinion has only become worse. With Hamas now controlling the gaza strip and threatening Israel, and Iran on the verge of holding nuclear weapons, my opinion of these Islamic countries have turned very bad. Barack Obama's policy of going to the middle east and showing his and America's support of the Muslim world although sparks a clever fight against islamic extremism also gives the US a bad message, especially with his policy of "sit down" talks with Iran and the Taliban. Here, he portrays that although these countries threaten our allies, like Israel's very existence, we should still show our support. Recently, when Mr. Obama declared he would cut funding from Israel's military if they bombed Iran, also gave this same message. How effective will America be against the war on terror if we just continue to treat these nations with a friendly tone?
I know for a fact that many Muslim people were terrified of President Bush and after Cheney's statement last week they will probably have a higher negative trust of the US and their poll numbers will show it.
Jack, Come on, it looks like G W Bush wrote this Question! There are more kinds of "Muslim" countries than are dreamt of in the average American's Philosophy. If anything has changed, it is to trust old friends like Jordan and Egypt, be watchful of the Saudi Royal Family who needs us to stay in power, put the covert forces back into Iran; Somalia; Lebanon; Syria and the former Soviet Republics. By the way ruining the poppy harvest in Afghanistan couldn't hurt. And real support for India, and carpet bombing of Pakistan would be a good start. No change, just refocusing.
My feelings about Muslim countries will change when the leaders of Muslim countries make an effort to control the Muslim terrorists and at least try to stop them from killing women, children and innocent civilians of Israel, the US and the rest of the world. When will Hell freeze over?.
In some ways yes jack after 9/11 I did not trust them at all but in light of Bush/Cheney are out of power and their constant speachs of fear them I feel abit better now. " if you can keep cheney out of the media "
Don't you feel some changes are taken place within a few days...
Mr. Gingrich change of tone about his racist comment, Mr. Cheney sentiment expressed on the actual stand on gay marriage and now all the reflections happening from people on diverse choices about abortion, about the sad and tragic death of the doctor performing late abortions and how all our judgment can no longer be simply limited to our own views, words and actions. We are so much more than our own limits!
Muslims...I fell that do have problems with Americans, this started based on the attitudes of White Americans and the way they have talked down to other ethnic groups for years right her at home.
After spending the last month in Iran as a tourist, I came away with a great deal of respect for the Iranians. The place a high value on education, city planning, historic preservation, and history. While it is a Muslim country, Jews and Christians may practice their religions. 70% of the population is under the age of 30 and the youth in the cities have made accomodation to life under a religious government; but like everyone else, they are tied to being respectly to the religious groups that control the money and the government. Their treatment of women and their views on multiple marriage are not my cup of tea, but I know that these views are practiced by many people including some in the United States and Latin America. The Irans are most hospitable and the food is excellent. I did not spot any "terrorists" roaming around, but then I couldn't pick out a terrorist in the U. S. either. I turst we both have active security units doing that job.
I have learned a great deal more.
My opinion of Muslim countries has not changed because it could not get any lower.
Yes, my feelings are more positive. I have traveled to various muslim countries and subscribed to academic journalistic sources that have me convinced that the average American has no clue about Islam or muslim countries. There are 25 of them and they are as diverse as Palin country is to New York City. American's opinions about muslim countries are based on mass propaganda, misinformation and LACK of accurate information. Consequently, Americans lump all muslim countries into one big demonic force. This couldn't be further from the truth. Some are good and some are not so good, but they are NOT the same. Now that we have rid our country of the global bully (Bush Administration) there is an opportunity for the world to become a safer place through human understanding. Our strength is in our differences not our similarities.