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How do Muslims view the West?

Among the things Muslims admire are the West's technology and fair political systems.

from the May 16, 2008 edition


•When asked what they most admire about the West, Muslims pointed to (1) technology,

(2) a value system of hard work, self-responsibility, rule of law, and cooperation, and

(3) fair political systems, with respect for human rights, democracy, and gender equality.


•What they dislike the most about the West includes: denigration of Islam and Muslims, promiscuity, and ethical and moral corruption.


•What they admire least about their own Muslim societies includes: lack of unity, economic and political corruption, and extremism.


•Most Muslims agree on what the West should do first to improve relations: demonstrate more respect, show more understanding of Islam as a religion, and not denigrate what it stands for. The issues that drive radicals are also important to mainstream Muslims, but they differ in their priorities and the degree of politicization and alienation. Moderate Muslims next hope for Western policies that support economic development. Radicals are more focused on the West discriminating less against Muslims and refraining from interference in the internal affairs of Muslim countries.


•As for the actions that Muslims themselves could take to improve relations, those surveyed recommended: respect the West's optimism and values of freedom of speech and religion, reduce and control extremism and terrorism, and "modernize."








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