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Will Miller, Ph.D. Department of Political Science, Philosophy, and Religion.

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Presentation on theme: "Will Miller, Ph.D. Department of Political Science, Philosophy, and Religion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Will Miller, Ph.D. Department of Political Science, Philosophy, and Religion


3 The Seriousness of it All “The Americans started it and retaliation and punishment should be carried out following the principle of reciprocity, especially when women and children are involved. Through history, American has not been known to differentiate between the military and the civilians or between men and women or adults and children. Those who threw atomic bombs and used the weapons of mass destruction against Nagasaki and Hiroshima were the Americans. Can the bombs differentiate between military and women and infants and children? America has no religion that can deter her from exterminating whole peoples. Your position against Muslims in Palestine is despicable and disgraceful. America has no shame.... We believe that the worst thieves in the world today and the worst terrorists are the Americans. Nothing could stop you except perhaps retaliation in kind.”

4 Lay of the Land “Shock, rage and grief there has been aplenty. But any glimmer of recognition of why people might have been driven to carry out such atrocities, sacrificing their own lives in the process - or why the United States is hated with such bitterness, not only in Arab and Muslim countries, but across the developing world - seems almost entirely absent.”

5 Do We Deserve to Be Hated? Atomic weapons Lack of work with international community – Biological weapons – Land mines – Arms trade – Oil – Kyoto Violent crime stats Capital punishment Foreign aid Freedom Capitalism WikiLeaks

6 Why Do We Think They Hate Us? “Our democracy and freedom" (26%) “Our support for Israel" (22%) “Our values and way of life" (20%) “Our influence on the economy and lives of Middle Eastern countries" (17%) “Our economic and military power” (11%)

7 Moving toward Scholarship What is “anti-Americanism”? – A psychological tendency to hold negative views of the United States (Katzenstein and Keohane) Internal v. external (Tai, Peterson, Gurr) Issue v. ideology (Rubenstein and Smith) Moderate v. strong v. bias Barry Rubin: – Despite what many argue, Arab and Muslim rage at the United States has had very little to do with actual U.S. policies--policies that have been remarkably pro-Arab over the past 50 years. Promoting anti-Americanism is simply the best way Muslim leaders have found to distract their publics from the real problem: internal mismanagement. New U.S. policies or a PR campaign will not change matters.

8 Four Categories of Anti-Americanism Policy Clash of Civilizations Ideological Guilt by association I argue for policy but acknowledge others will appear as well

9 U.S. Policy Support Israel Been in conflict with state actors such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran as well with violent Islamic extremist movements such as Al Qaeda

10 The Clash of Civilizations Religious-cultural cleavages We argue that it is possible some Muslims may view the United States as the center of a Christian war on Islam

11 Ideology Reject the American symbol Popular culture Free market Trade Post-material values

12 Guilt by Association U.S. has power and impact The United States is viewed as being responsible for propping up the regime in power and allowing it to stay in power, even if it is deeply unpopular

13 Today in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen Might as well hit on this… Anti-Americanism under Obama “Even when they embrace secular democracy, Arabs may be allowed liberation only if it comes on top of American tanks or when it suits Israel”

14 Pew Global Attitudes Survey 2007 and 2009 – 2009 completed just after Obama’s Cairo speech to the Muslim world Egypt Indonesia Jordan Lebanon Pakistan Palestinian Territories Turkey Data

15 Pew Global Attitudes Survey 2007 and 2009 Egypt Indonesia Jordan Lebanon Pakistan Palestinian Territories Turkey Data



18 Now I’m going to read a list of political leaders. For each, tell me how much confidence you have in each leader to do the right thing regarding world affairs- a lot of confidence, some confidence, not too much confidence, or no confidence at all. And which comes closer to describing your view? I favor the United States- led efforts to fight terrorism, or I oppose the United States-led efforts to fight terrorism. Do you think the U.S. and NATO should keep military troops in Afghanistan until the situation has stabilized, or do you think the U.S. and NATO should remove their troops as soon as possible? In making international policy decisions, to what extent do you think the United States takes into account the interests of countries like (survey country) – a great deal, a fair amount, not too much, or not at all? Policy: The U.S. Presence in the Muslim World

19 How important is religion in your life-very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important? Do you think there is a struggle in our country between groups who want to modernize the country and Islamic fundamentalist or don’t you think so? Which side do you identify with more in this struggle, the groups who want to modernize the country or Islamic fundamentalists? Some people think that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets are justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies. Other people believe that, no matter what the reason, this kind of violence is never justified. Do you personally feel that this kind of violence is often justified to defend Islam, sometimes justified, rarely justified, or never justified? How often, if at all, do you pray: hardly ever, only during religious holidays, only on Fridays, only on Fridays and religious holidays, more than once a week, every day at least once, or every day five times? How often, if at all, do you fast-hardly ever, some days during Ramadan, during most or all days during Ramadan, or during all of Ramadan and other religious holidays? Clash of Civilizations: The Role of Muslim Identity

20 Please tell me whether you completely agree, mostly agree, mostly disagree or completely disagree with the following statements. Most people are better off in a free market economy, even though some people are rich and some are poor. What do you think about the growing trade and business ties between (survey country) and other countries – do you think it is a very good thing, somewhat good, somewhat bad or a very bad thing for our country? In your view, is global warming a very serious problem, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not a problem? Ideology: Rejection of the American Symbol

21 Overall, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going in our country today? Now thinking about our economic situation, how would you describe the current economic situation in (survey country) – is it very good, somewhat good, somewhat bad or very bad? Guilt by Association: Perceptions of the U.S. as Responsible for Domestic Conditions

22 Some Interesting Findings Suicide bombing support – 60% say it is never justified; 76% say rarely or never; only 10% say often justified. When you drop Palestinian areas (where 37% say it is often justified), support drops to only 4%. The most alarming poll finding, in view of Pakistan’s nuclear capability, is that more Pakistanis (in 2009) express positive views of Osama bin Laden than they do of President Obama


24 Results Policy – All four variables, both years Clash of Civilizations – Suicide attacks, both years Ideology – Free market and global warming only in 2007 Guilt by Association – Sociotropic in 2009

25 Substantive Results Bush/Obama approval first difference of.549/.539 When an individual perceives that their country doesn't get along with the US, the probability of anti-American attitudes more than doubles. But when relations are good, favorability soars from only 5% to nearly 60%.

26 Suicide Bombing It looks like all the religion and fundamentalism and bin Laden stuff we thought would matter for Anti-Americanism didn't, but it does matter for suicide terrorism. It is a big leap from "We don't like America" to "We want to kill Americans."

27 Concerns Concerns with survey research – The trick is to employ polling methods oblivious to the cultural pathologies raging in Arab and Muslim societies. What does “public opinion” mean under Islamic regimes that outlaw political parties, control the media, underwrite hate speech in sermons and school textbooks, persecute religious minorities, and torture political dissidents? – Opinion polls do not mean a hill of beans in cultures rendered incoherent by despotism, denial, rage, and irrational religion. – If the survey results represent attitudes in the Middle East and beyond, then the most cherished liberal assumptions about radical Islam and U.S. foreign policy are exposed as desperate falsehoods.

28 Let’s Change it Up…

29 Anti-Muslim Attitudes in America Why might we (as Americans) dislike Muslims?


31 Results Obama Good Job (factor) – First difference of.243 – I think we really are getting at something about Obama (and the policies associated with him and that he is responsible for--like the direction of the country) that is not explicitly about party or ideology. It is NOT just that liberals support Obama and like Muslims. Born Again Christians Males Elderly

32 So What Does it All Mean?? Findings indicate that improved relations between the Western and Islamic Civilizations is possible—the animosity is not a result of unchangeable cultural or religious views, but is due to the political relationship. The real difference between those who condone terrorist acts and all others is politics, not piety It’s a two-way street though!!

33 Conclusion It offers some room for hope. Perhaps with changes in United States policy and renewed, serious efforts to create a lasting and equitable peace deal between Palestinians and Israelis, a good deal of goodwill could be created for the United States. While there are clearly myriad political factors that make such policy changes difficult to achieve, it is imperative that efforts are made to improve the image of the United States in the Muslim world if it hopes to have a chance of reducing the amount of antipathy toward the United States. But our behavior towards Egypt…doesn’t suggest this will be happening.

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