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80 Percent of the Arab World Hates the US — Are They Justified?

A new poll just released shows that eight out of 10 people in the Arab world have a negative view of the US. The negative impression perhaps stems from the progress in the war in Iraq as only 6 percent of Arabs believe the US troop surge in Iraq has worked.

A majority of Arabs have their own idea of how the conflict should end and believe that if US troops withdraw from Iraq completely, Iraqis would be able to bridge their differences.

Interestingly, the three leaders seen as the most popular are the only ones standing up against US influence in the region: Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah is the most popular leader, followed by Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, and Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Do these findings surprise you?

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UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Most Middle Eastern muslims live in a hell partly b/c of the US, like I said before they see this administration as bigger killers and bigger terrorist. So of course in this state they are not going to come out in support of the US even though they don't agree with the violence. I agree that they live in a hell that I would never want to live in. But muslims in the middle east have wanted to kill us since before W was born. To me, this administration is just the excuse du jour.
syako syako 8 years
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zeze zeze 8 years
"I have about the middle east is based on the acts of terrorism the muslim community has committed to American citizens over the last 30 years, and the lack of outcry of rest of the muslim community" UnDave: Did you read my earlier post? Most Middle Eastern muslims live in a hell partly b/c of the US, like I said before they see this administration as bigger killers and bigger terrorist. So of course in this state they are not going to come out in support of the US even though they don't agree with the violence. Also, consider, many middle easterners, Iraqis especially, credit the US for creating this massive rise in Muslim fanatics. The see the US's actions in the middle east pushing people to these fanatical ways and fell that the US has no one to blame then itself - many would say "I am not going to apologize or denounce something I'm not responsible for" and if anything, the US's incompetence with the Iraq/Afgan/Israel issues is what is driving terrorism up (facts prove AlQadea has grown), so they should be apologizing to the moderates average folks being killed in the US and terrorism's cross fire.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Nya, the world considered Americans arrogant long before 9/11. You are also right, it isn't just the flag raising or lowering. Whatever the reason, the attitude I have about the middle east is based on the acts of terrorism the muslim community has committed to American citizens over the last 30 years, and the lack of outcry of rest of the muslim community
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
UnDave the commmon man in the rest of the world doesn't know about your flag lowering or raising, I didn't and that's not the reason why I think America has a certain air of arrogance wafting from her. It's the ATTITUDE Americans have to other people like they are enittled even when they are in other countries under different laws. It's not flags, it's not the crusades, it's the actions after 9/11, and everything else in between.
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
With the flourishing success of the Iraq democracy, I just don't see what anyone in the Arab world has to complain about.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
"I do, however think that there is no opposing view to that." Yes there is. The very young population of Tehran, for instance, is quite liberal and Westernized, despite the restrictions of dress and behavior put in place by the government. There are plenty of voices of the regular people speaking up to say that extremism and terrorism are not the way. And speak to pretty much any native of a Muslim country who has emigrated over here--you'll hear the same refrain, and it goes something like this: "That tiny minority of violent idiots has given us all a bad name." Americans are not just viewed as arrogant for the reasons you mentioned. Americans are also viewed as arrogant for certain recent administrations' bullying foreign policies, a general cultural ignorance, and a widespread lack of understanding or curiosity about anything in the world beyond American borders. And I could keep going on. It has very little to do with the Crusades and everything to do with what we are and what we do today. To blame the Arab world's anger at United States policy on distant history is to discount everything that has come since and that we may be accountable for to this region.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
zeze - No, I don't think all Muslims are sitting around chanting "death to Americans." I do, however think that there is no opposing view to that. The fact that there is a very small minority that has spoken up to say "Islamic extremism is bad" (like no one) leads me to the conclusion that either they are too afraind to speak up, or they don't care what happens. I think it's the latter. Nya - You are correct that Americans are viewed (and wrongly) as arrogant. That stems from the refusal to lower our flag for visiting dignitaries. Even in both world wars, we were not welcomed as heroes removing the evil Germans. We were there just as a tool. You are also correct that America wasn't until way after the crusades, but where did the vast majority of Americans immigrate from (Western Europe)? And what religion did the vast majority of American immigrants have (Judeao Christian). The same religion and area that they hated from the time of the crusades.
kia kia 8 years
These numbers don't surprise me. I am just starting to read Benazir's Bhutto's book "Reconciliation" that she wrote to address her thoughts on relations between Islam and the West. It was finished just before she was assassinated. I started it last night and so far, it is a good read to have a better understanding about the issues of why we are not liked by many in the Islamic world.
Berlin Berlin 8 years
Um many other nations despise the US because we are seen as arrogant and lazy....Which for the most part, the US is! So no, i don't blame them in the slightest. I'm surprised mose places don't feel the same really.
zeze zeze 8 years
UnDave: do you think most people are sitting there thinking to themselves "Death to the infidels"? Let's get realistic, the middle east is full of poor, uneducated, and struggling people living in constant state of fear and violence. Most of the people just want security and a normal life. Only a SMALL minority have jobs/money/schooling. BTW - when most people burn flags or shout "death to America" that is directed towards the government and Bush not the people, b/c the way things work in the middle east the state is the people in power b/c from what they know the people have no control what so ever (enter conspiracy theories about voting). Another point I think many of us Americans miss is that to every action there is a reaction. The rising militants groups are largely due to violence the US has facilitated in the region. The US gave Israel 30 BILLLON in support one of these past years! Most people in Palestine see this as money used to build Israel's army, Israel's walls, Israel's power over them. The other big reason is Iraq and Afghanistan - do I even need to explain the anger of this? The way people see it over there is that we have killed way more of them then they have killed of us. Its completely understandable to me that they have a negative view of the US.
nyaradzom2001 nyaradzom2001 8 years
What makes people hate Americans and it's not jus the Arabs who don't particularly care for America, is the sheer arrogance. America is always right and never wrong and the racial profiling and stereotyping, and the awful ignorance exhibited by certain people. Not all Americans are like this but when we have idiots like Bill O' Reilly and Ann Coulter, and that dude who think the holocaust never happened one can't help but say if this is a product coming out of America, these sentiments must be shared by a lot of people there and BOOM there we have it people just start thinking America blows. And saying that you shouldn't deal with the muslim world because of a few idiots is like saying the world should have let germany rot after world war 2 because of Hitler. And if the Arabs should hate anyone it would be the Spanish and Italians who were Catholics during the Crusades and the Swedish and Norwegians and French UnDave not the Americans who only came into being in the 1700s way after the crusades.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I couldn't have said it better myself, stephley :)
stephley stephley 8 years
But you're saying very bluntly, that you believe we should do their leaders harm - how is your idea any better than theirs? It sounds like a matter of who draws first.
jubex jubex 8 years
and they care if the US intends to do harm
cine_lover cine_lover 8 years
"we don't have that right. If they don't like us, we can't kill them all until they do. We'll have to see if we can think of a new approach." You are right Steph, we should sit down and discuss with them that they should not blow us up, because that will work wonders. It has nothing to do with not liking us. I don't care if they do not like us, I care if they intend to do harm.
stephley stephley 8 years
If we want to have better relations with people in the Middle East, it would be a good idea to avoid saying or thinking or planning things like "take down the leaders who are hell bent on killing infidels and forming an Islamic state" - we don't have that right. If they don't like us, we can't kill them all until they do. We'll have to see if we can think of a new approach.
cine_lover cine_lover 8 years
I am an amazing multitasker!
jubex jubex 8 years
yes, they are justified
KrisSugar KrisSugar 8 years
cine, how do you work? my productivity has experienced a sharp decline since getting involved with Citizen... :)
cine_lover cine_lover 8 years
Well there are a lot of types of Freedom. Freedom of expression, religion, voting, reproductive rights, and so forth. But for arguments sake, we can just tie it all together. :) Personally I think you must take down the leaders who are hell bent on killing infidels and forming an Islamic state. And it is not just us that the Arabs hate, so how do we fix that aspect? I wish I could get more into this but my work day is almost up. I swear Citizen is the only thing that could make me say I wish I had more time at work!
KrisSugar KrisSugar 8 years
I agree with both of you, Cine and Jude. We have to focus on protecting ourselves, but I think we should examine the cause as well as combat the symptoms.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I think a great part of ensuring our safety and success in the world involves minimizing the foreign enmity we may sometimes cause or be victim to, cine. Let's face it: the more animosity the common man in the Arab world feels towards us, the more freely real terrorists will act, and the more support they will get. Take away that general animosity, and the terrorists have got a lot less to back themselves up with. I wasn't directing the "they hate us for our freedom" comment to you, but your argument is not that much different, IMO. Our freedom of expression and culture is a great part of our freedom, after all. What else is "they hate us for our freedom" supposed to mean?
cine_lover cine_lover 8 years
I see where you are going Jude, but I think we need to make sure our country is safe, that should be our first priority. And I never said anything about hating us for our Freedom, so I am not sure if you were directing that towards me, but I do not believe they hate us for our "Freedom" as in our right to vote, but I do think that they dislike our freedom of expression, and acts that they see as obscene.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
"I don't think that aid is going to stop terrorists from hating us, as they hate what we stand for" Terrorists and extremists are a tiny, tiny segment of the population. It's the vast majority that we should hope to reach, because without their support, the terrorist minority will have much less of a leg to stand on. "They hate us for our freedom" has never struck me as a particularly compelling argument for our problems in the Middle East, beyond those of terrorism. Even if that is the case, however, is that so much different from our side hating and fearing them and imagining them all to be terrorists because they are different from us religiously, culturally, and morally?
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