Unreality pervades not just Western analyses of the jihad threat, but the Islamic world as well. “Muslims ‘Still in Denial’ About 9/11, Pew Survey Finds,” from the New York Times, with thanks to all who sent this in:
PARIS, June 22 “” Non-Muslim Westerners and Muslims around the world have widely different views of world events, and each group tends to view the other as violent, intolerant, and lacking in respect for women, a new international survey of more than 14,000 people in 13 nations indicates.
In what the survey, part of the Pew Global Attitudes Project for 2006, called one of its most striking findings, majorities in Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan and Turkey “” Muslim countries with fairly strong ties to America “” said, for example, that they did not believe that Arabs carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. The findings, illustrating the chasm in beliefs, follow another year of violence and tension centered around that divide. In the past 12 months, there have been terrorist bombings in London, riots in France by unemployed youths, many of them Muslim, a global uproar over Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, and no letup to the war in Iraq….
Over all, Muslims in the survey worldwide, including the large Islamic populations in Britain, France, Germany and Spain, broadly blamed the West, while Westerners tended to blame Muslims for the bad relations. Muslims in the Middle East and Asia depicted Westerners as immoral and selfish, while Westerners saw Muslims as fanatical.
The results were not uniform, however, and delivered some surprises: Support for terrorism declined in some Muslim countries surveyed, dropping dramatically in Jordan, where terrorist bombings killed more than 50 people in Amman in November.
Two-thirds of the French people surveyed expressed positive views of Muslims, and even larger majorities of French Muslims felt favorable toward Christians and Jews. Muslims in Europe surveyed were less inclined to see a “clash of civilizations” than general publics in Europe and Muslims elsewhere.
Pew found sharp divergences on respect toward women: Non-Muslims in the West view Muslims as lacking respect, the survey indicated, while Muslims outside Europe say the same of Westerners….
Majorities in the Muslim world, Pew said, also expressed the opinion that the victory of the militant group, Hamas, in Palestinian elections in January would “be helpful to a fair settlement between Israel and the Palestinians “” a view that is roundly rejected by non-Muslim publics.”
Disbelief was strong among Muslims that Arabs were behind the Sept. 11 attacks, with 65 percent in Indonesia and 59 percent in Turkey, for example, expressing that viewpoint. Even in Britain, 56 percent of the Muslims surveyed did not believe that Arabs carried out the attacks. The results, Mr. Kohut said, show that “many Muslims are still in denial” about something that even Osama bin Laden has acknowledged.