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 Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid