News / Asia

US Response to 9/11 Taints Muslim Image of America

Brian Padden

It has been 10 years now since Islamic terrorists attacked the United States and focused the world's attention on America's relationship with the Muslim world.

Most Muslims around the world condemned the September 11 terrorists attacks on the United States in 2001. But many consider the U.S. response to the terror attacks far worse: The ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. NATO's military intervention in Libya. And support for regimes that use the threat of terrorism to justify suppressing dissent.

This too often overshadows America's efforts supporting freedom and democratic values, says Steven Kull, the director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland.

“There's the bad America that doesn't always live up to those values and is seen as being unfriendly to Islam, ready to use military force irrespective of international law and not promoting democracy,” Kull said.

Egypt

Esam El-Erian is a leader of the conservative Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, a group that was once banned for opposing the military-led rule of Hosni Mubarak.

He argues that U.S. military operations kill more people than Islamic terrorists and that using force to bring stability and impose democracy in Muslim countries is a failure.

“Defeated in Afghanistan, yes. They failed to reconstruct a nation. Defeated in Iraq, yes. They failed to build a model of democracy,” El-Erian said.

Opinion polls show that President Barak Obama's efforts to engage the Muslim world have had little impact on such attitudes.

Indonesia

Indonesia is a rare exception that holds a positive view of the U.S.

The fact that President Obama lived there as a boy, that the country has undergone significant democratic progress and that Indonesia also has suffered terrorist attacks may account for the more favorable rating.

Even so, a vocal minority in Indonesia opposes U.S. military policy, and U.S. ties to Israel. Last year, Israel's deadly raid on a flotilla of peace activists sparked protests in Jakarta.

“President Obama has to prevent Israel from doing this kind of thing, and not to protect or cover up for Israel,” said Indonesian University student Sahid Sundana.

Tunisia

In Tunisia, some criticize the U.S. for not offering enough support to pro-democracy groups, but this man detects a change in American policy.

"The Americans are starting to have an interest in Tunisia, even becoming passionate. I have the impression they will help the Tunisians and are beginning to," one Tunisian said.

Steven Kull adds that U.S. plans to draw down forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and U.S. support for Israeli-Palestinian peace, could eventually improve Muslims' view of America. But, he says, the U.S. must also work with the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic groups.

“They are going to be part of any democratic process that emerges in the Muslim world. And the U.S. needs to take a more friendly stance toward that, not be so suspicious of those countries,” Kull said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has indicated the U.S. is ready to take a step in that direction and engage Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, but Esam El-Erian says so far there has been no contact.

Ten years have passed since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and Muslim attitudes about America remain a causality of the war of terror.

You May Like

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More