Some data

From Pew:

From the report: “Nearly a decade after September 11, 2001, skepticism about the events of that day persists among Muslim publics. When asked whether they think groups of Arabs carried out the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., most Muslims in the nations surveyed say they do not believe this.

There is no Muslim public in which even 30% accept that Arabs conducted the attacks.”

“Muslims continue to believe there is widespread hostility toward them in the West. More than seven-in-ten think most or many Americans are hostile toward Muslims in the Palestinian territories, Turkey, and Pakistan, and solid majorities feel this way in Egypt and Jordan.

Moreover, perceptions of American hostility have increased since 2006 in four of the five countries where trends are available”

“On balance, respondents in the non-Muslim nations surveyed believe Muslims in their countries want to be distinct from the larger society. Majorities or pluralities hold this view in Western Europe, the U.S., Israel and Russia. This opinion is particularly widespread in Germany (72%), Spain (69%), and Russia (66%).”

“Among the Muslim publics surveyed, those in Lebanon offer the most positive ratings of Christians; 96% express a favorable opinion of the religious group, which makes up about 40% of the Lebanese population. Majorities of Muslims in Jordan (57%) and Indonesia (52%) also rate Christians favorably; Egyptian Muslims are nearly evenly divided, with 48% offering positive views and 47% saying they have an unfavorable opinion.

In contrast, Muslims in Turkey and Pakistan offer overwhelmingly negative views of Christians. In Turkey, just 6% of Muslims have a favorable view and 82% offer negative opinions of Christians; among Pakistani Muslims, 16% have positive opinions and 66% offer unfavorable views.” [my emphasis]

“Ratings of Jews are dismal in the seven predominantly Muslim nations surveyed. About one-in-ten (9%) Muslims in Indonesia, and even fewer in Turkey (4%), the Palestinian territories (4%), Lebanon (3%), Jordan (2%), Egypt (2%) and Pakistan (2%) express favorable opinions of Jews.”

“In the Arab countries surveyed, large majorities of Muslims who say some religions are more prone to violence consider Judaism to be the most violent religion; 97% in Jordan, 93% in Egypt, 88% in the Palestinian territories and 77% in Lebanon share this view.”

“On balance, Muslims in the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed are more likely to associate negative characteristics with Westerners than non-Muslims are to associate them with Muslims. For example, nearly nine-in-ten (89%) Jordanian Muslims use at least three of the six negative adjectives tested to describe people in Western countries, as do majorities in Egypt (81%), Turkey (73%), the Palestinian territories (71%), Pakistan (67%) and Indonesia (63%); only in Lebanon is this not the case.

In contrast, Spain is the only Western country surveyed where a majority (60%) of non-Muslims associate three or more negative characteristics with Muslims. At least three-in-ten non-Muslims in Britain (39%), the U.S. (35%) and France (30%) do not attribute any of the six negative characteristics tested to Muslims.”

The link has more.

July 26, 2011 - Posted by | Data, Religion


  1. It could be quite interesting to see how the figures look for different social groups. In a Danish context I would expect that the negative views on foreigners would be more predominant among the less educated/wealthy/etc. As such much of the negative sentiments would probably go away with improvements on the social characteristics.

    Comment by Pollux | July 26, 2011 | Reply

    • They do include education at one point in the analysis, when it comes to the question about assimilation – see page 2 at the bottom. They find that Western non-college educated are more likely to think that ‘muslims want to be distinct from the larger society’ than are Western people with a college degree.

      In a Danish context I would expect that the negative views on foreigners would be more predominant among the less educated/wealthy/etc.

      I’d say this is already quite obvious from the voting patterns, and it’s AFAIK an established result in the literature as well. I don’t understand the last part of your comment though, perhaps you could elaborate? IMO, one main reason why low-class natives are more likely to be skeptical is that they interact more with the median muslim than do the well-educated; the well-educated cover a disproportionately large share of the monetary costs of immigration because they pay a lot of taxes, whereas the lower social classes cover a disproportionately large share of the non-monetary costs (e.g. crime) because they are much more likely to live next to them.

      Comment by US | July 27, 2011 | Reply

  2. It’s anecdata, and I am not sure how well this will “translate”, given cultural differences, but… anyway… I have had quite a few conversations with a fellow I went to college with – Bashar, born in Palestine, now American. He says that, hard as it is for Westerners to comprehend, in the Arab world (he has lived in Jordan too, but says he does not know and cannot say much about Iran and Turkey, as they are non-Arab), there is the equivalent of the popular US conspiracy theories (JFK assassination, moon landing, etc.), but it’s believed more by an order of magnitude. The gist of it can be gleaned here: . It’s extremely popular reading, and even those who have not read it know some version of it. Combined with the Biblical/Quranic bull-feces about the “injustice” done to Ishmael, in my friend’s view, it forms the opinion of the Arab mainstream much more than we are aware of. The fact that this is a well-exposed and debunked forgery does not matter – hoi polloi buy this kind of junk like hotcakes, and ask for more, which the mullahs are more than happy to oblige.

    For the record, I have seen a version of this “book” translated and sold in the streets of Sofia, Bulgaria – for what it’s worth – so my friend’s claim does pass the smell test.

    It does make one think hard about what we know and what we do not know about geopolitics, doesn’t it?

    Comment by Plamus | July 27, 2011 | Reply

    • I tend to believe you are right that conspiracy theories matter a lot more for some ME’rn societies and the opinions of the public in those societies than they do elsewhere, it’s not news to me – Sandmonkey often wrote about this aspect of Egyptian society (in this post, he specifically talks about “the conspiracy-theory-loving egyptians” and this post starts out with: “Maybe it’s from being around all of these conspiracy theories all my life”…). I’m sure you can find much more on this subject here.

      Comment by US | July 28, 2011 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: