Blow to Advocates of Clash of Civilizations

  • 28 February 2008

The disclosures of a six-year long study conducted by the acclaimed US institute Gallup that covered 40 Muslim countries deals a major blow to the advocates of a conflict between the West and Muslims. The study confirms two very important facts. First, Muslims do not hate the West and the United States. On the contrary, a majority of the global Muslim population admires the Western world for its freedoms, democracy, and technological development. However, the study also states that a majority of Muslims oppose the imposition of those Western values and traditions that contradict their religious values or advocate a way of life or a style of governance for them. Secondly, the study finds that up to 93% of Muslims around the world espouse moderate views, and only about 7% of them seem to have an extremist outlook.

These figures shatter the myths promoted after the September 11 attacks that Muslims hate Western civilization and are opposed to Western concepts of democracy and development. It also refutes the claim that conflict between Muslims and the West is a distinct possibility and that Muslim beliefs promote terrorism, extremism and violence. It is curious to note that anti-Muslim myths have been receiving the support of many supposedly serious studies for some time, whose findings have been treated as facts that have even influenced US and Western policies against the Muslim world. For this reason, the findings come as a welcome refutation of the misconceptions, especially as they are the result of a study that was not conducted by the Muslim world, but by an acclaimed Western organization. As the study has based its findings on samples taken from countries that cover 90% of the world’s Muslim population, it holds great credibility. Moreover, the fact that it took six years to collect, collate and analyze the information makes it more creditable.

Undoubtedly, the results of this Gallup probe would not be welcome in many quarters; as it strongly contends the claims promoted as scientific facts that were framed for promoting an aggressive agenda. Therefore, there will be attempts to subvert the findings, question the results, or at least smudge the revelations of the study. For this reason, the Muslim world should publicize the findings to inform Western public opinion about the reality of Islam and Muslims, which the promoters of conflict between the two civilizations, have long sought to deform and distort.