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The premise of this book is that the problem of terrorism does not simply lie in the small number of people who join terrorist organizations. Rather, the existence of terrorist organizations is a symptom of tension in the larger society that finds a particularly virulent expression in certain individuals. Hostility toward the United States in the broader society plays a critical role in sustaining terrorist groups, even if most disapprove of those groups’ tactics. The essential “problem,” then, is one of America’s relationship with Muslim societies as a whole, or an integrated system. Clark McCauley has depicted the relationship between anti-American terrorists and their society as being like a pyramid. At the apex are the terrorists . Below them is a layer of “justifiers” who actively express support. Below them are the sympathizers who provide more passive support. At the bottom are those expressing negative views toward the United States more generally, providing the broad base from which the other groups emerge.1 Adapting this model (see figure 1-1), this chapter begins by exploring the broad base of those expressing negative views of the United States and its foreign policy—majorities in most cases, with some quite substantial. Next up the pyramid are those who express passive support or sympathy for al Qaeda and other anti-American groups—in some cases modest majorities, especially when those who say they have “mixed feelings” are 8 The Scope of Muslim Anger and Support for Violent Anti-American Groups 1 01-0559-8 CH 1:0305-1 3/3/11 1:54 PM Page 8 included. At a higher level are those who actively express support for anti-American groups either verbally or by approving if a child or family member were to join such a group or possibly by contributing money. This group constitutes a small but not insignificant minority. On a parallel track up the pyramid there are those who express approval of attacks on U.S. troops, again a number that is a majority in some, but not all, nations. At a higher level of the pyramid is a considerably smaller but not insignificant minority that approves of attacks on American civilians. Views of the United States through 2008 Before 9/11 there were very limited data available on attitudes toward the United States in the Muslim world. The U.S. Information Agency conducted some limited polling in the 1990s that showed substantially negative views toward the United States. In 1994, 61 percent of Turks said they had an “unfavorable” view of the United States, though this moderated later in the decade. In 1997 majorities with “unfavorable” views of the United States were found in Jordan (61 percent), the Palestinian Territories Muslim Anger and Support for Violent Anti-American Groups 9 F I G U R E 1 - 1 . The Pyramid of Terrorist Support AntiAmerican terrorist groups Approval of attacks on U.S. civilians Approval of attacks on U.S. troops in Muslim countries Active support for anti-American terrorist groups Passive approval of anti-American terrorist groups Negative views of U.S. foreign policy 01-0559-8 CH 1:0305-1 3/3/11 1:54 PM Page 9 (71 percent), and Lebanon (54 percent); and in 1999 only 23 percent of Pakistanis expressed “favorable” views. In Indonesia and Morocco, however , three in four expressed “favorable” views of the United States. Shortly after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 there were a number of surveys that found largely negative views in some newly polled nations and worsening views among some of those previously polled. Negative views were particularly pronounced in countries in or around the Middle East. Gallup found that 64 percent of Saudis and 63 percent of Iranians had “unfavorable” views of the United States and that negative views were persisting in Pakistan (68 percent) and Jordan (62 percent). In the summer of 2002 Pew found 59 percent with “unfavorable” views of the United States in Egypt. In addition, views had worsened in Lebanon (59 percent, up 5 points) and in Jordan (75 percent, up 14 points). Views in Turkey, after having gradually improved during the 1990s, had turned decidedly “unfavorable” (55 percent). Countries further away from the Middle East had milder views in the 2002 Pew poll. The biggest difference was in Uzbekistan, where 85 percent of respondents had a “favorable” view of the United States. Two majority-Muslim African nations polled also had “favorable” views— Mali (75 percent) and Senegal (61 percent). South Asians...


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