Predominantly Muslim populations in a sampling of six North African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries share to a "considerable degree" Western concerns about Islamic extremism, according to the poll by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, conducted by the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization.
"They are not just paying lip service. They are saying they specifically want a fair judiciary, freedom of expression and more than one party in elections. It wasn't just a vague concept," Kohut said. "U.S. and Western ideas about democracy have been globalized and are in the Muslim world."
At the same time, however, most Muslims surveyed said they think Islam is playing an increasing role in their politics, a development they view as a positive shift in response to economic problems, growing immorality and concern about Western influence. Jordan was the only exception.
The survey results indicate that growing numbers of Muslims differentiate between what they consider the peaceful influence of Islamic values in politics and the use of religion to justify attacks. "The people who see Islam playing an important role in political life are the ones most worried about extremism," Kohut said.The results, which also reveal widespread support for democracy, show how profoundly opinions have changed in parts of the Muslim world since Pew took similar surveys in recent years. The poll attributed the difference in attitudes toward extremism to both the terrorist attacks in Muslim nations and the passage of time since the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Did Omagh increase support for nationalism in Ireland? Can you imagine how quickly support would have faded if the bomb had gone off in Dublin? Most people eventually tire of seeing their friends, family and colleauges blown up by people supposedly doing it to free them from oppression. There's nothing more oppressive than having your body parts scattered around a shopping centre.
So it seems that the terrorists are achieving the exact opposite of what they want. This is exactly what will happen in this country after last week's bombings. Now that the consequences of the hate talk that has been allowed to go on unfettered for so long have been seen by everyone in graphic detail we can expect minds, both Muslim and non-Muslim to be concentrated a touch more than they were previously.
If the IRA bombed London tomorrow how many of those spotty students from the seventies do you think would be dusting off their "Troops Out" placards in readiness to march in support of a "united Ireland" ?