Following up on the post below about the well-educated, well-to-do albeit, thank goodness, incompetent murderous doctor-terrorists in the UK, Gallup sends me a 2006 Gallup World Poll article for Foreign Policy that throws Friedman’s theories on their head. From a poll of 9,000 people in Muslim nations, Gallup found that Muslim radicals are no more religious than moderates. Radicals earn more money and stay in school longer. Radicals are not hopeless but in fact “more radicals expressed satisfaction with their financial situation and quality of life than their moderate counterparts, and a majority of them expected to be better off in the years to come.” Do they hate us? And if so why? They don’t. “Both moderates and radicals in the Muslim world admire the West, in particular its technology, democratic system, and freedom of speech.”
So what do we do? How do we win the war on terrorism? Says Gallup:
Although almost all Muslims believe the West should show more respect for Islam, radicals are more likely to feel that the West threatens and attempts to control their way of life. Moderates, on the other hand, are more eager to build ties with the West through economic development. This divergence of responses offers policymakers a key opportunity to develop strategies to prevent the moderate mainstream from sliding away, and to check the persuasive power of those who would do us harm.