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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

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