I just recorded a bit for BBC Newshour on a new 27 nation survey of international public opinion on relations between Islam and the West (apologies to the BBC if I'm ahead of the embargo, I can never keep track of "real" time when I'm in the Gulf... if this is too early, please don't read it!). The poll, done by Steve Kull's PIPA (University of Maryland), asked whether conflict between Islam and the West was driven by political or cultural forces. The results were quite interesting. Worldwide, 52% say that political differences cause the tensions, compared to only 29% who say cultural differences - suggesting that the clash of civilizations narrative isn't catching on as badly as it might. What is more, 58% say that intolerant or extremist minorities are causing the tensions, against 26% who see fundamental religious or cultural differences. The findings aren't all good: a solid 36% of Egyptians and 38% of Americans saw "differences of religion/culture" as the cause of the tensions, while 39% of Egyptians (but only 17% of Americans) saw a "fundamental difference between the two cultures" which put both key countries close to the top of the list (Nigeria was the outlier, with 56% saying culture). On the BBC show, I warned against reading this as meaning that the differences are "just" political, though: the fears and critiques of American hegemonic aspirations in the Muslim world is becoming universal and deep enough to transcend easy political solutions, as important as those political causes are; and even small minorities are easily capable of exploiting existing mistrust and fears. But overall the general thrust of the BBC report offers some rare good news, and holds out some hope that good sense might still prevail on this question in much of the world.