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June 19, 2006


Abu Sinan

Interesting. I think the results about the question of Iranian nuclear weapons are not surprising for Saudi and Turkey, for two reasons. First being the traditional Sunni/Shi'a split, the other being plain religional power.

I wonder what the response from Turkey and or Saudi would have been to a question about a Sunni power gaining nuclear weapons? The fear of the "Shi'a Crescent" is growing in the Middle East.


Those numbers are surprisingly good for the US. I question the high number of Palestinians who claim they have a favorable opinion of America, though. More than twice as many Palestinians like America than Turks or Saudis? That just doesn't make any sense, considering the Palestinian/Israeli issue is at the heart of the current conflict.


I think it makes sense, look at the turkish and saudi response to the cartoons vs. the palestinians.. more equanimity. Anti americanism is rampant in turkish pop culture and Anti everything is prominent in Saudi. Palestinians I would wager have a significantly higher portion of the populace who are dual citizens, who have traveled or who have come in contact with NGOs etc...
Polls have also showed that palestinians know much more about Israel and jews than Saudis and other arabs and their viewpoint is much more nuanced, and though obviously against the occupation, many have business relations etc.. and can envision a peaceful resolution. In saudi, jews are evil end of story, very few saudis have ever met one


Dr. Lynch,

If it is not too much trouble, could you offer any advice about the following:

I graduated from college shortly after 9/11 with a degree in History (focus on the Middle East) and with a few semesters of Arabic. I spent about 8 months looking for a job around the area I was living (my previous employment was student employment through my university, so I was not able to keep the job after graduating) only to find people flat out refusing to speak to my Arab references and insulting my work history (some of which was middle east studies related). I then decided to start graduate school and earned a library science degree, only to find similar problems occurring even though I no longer use any Arabs as references. It seems that I must drop a good share of my education and work experience from my resume just to get hired. However, if I do this, it looks like I have no experience and can not get hired on that account. Instead of a middle east studies background being an asset it seems to be my bane. Do you have any pointers?


I have to wonder if "Muslim public opinion" is all that different than that of other groups and countries towards the US - i.e., if perspectives on the US really are shaped by religious and regional identity to a significant degree - because you'll hear many of the same responses to US military actions and foreign policy in Europe and among non-Muslims in Asia.

About the urban-biased sample in Pakistan, it's standard practice for lazy journos and researchers who can't be bothered leaving the cool confines of the club to limit their interviews to big cities. There is also likely to be an economic class bias because folks who live in slums or are migrants may not make it to their sampling lists. (I just checked their methodology section for Pakistan and sure enough, about 40% of respondents are housewives - i.e. they walked around neighbourhoods in the daytime to see who was home??)

I'm surprised you haven't mentioned that piece on Haifa in the New Republic, ustaz AA.

No Preference

I question the high number of Palestinians who claim they have a favorable opinion of America, though. . . . That just doesn't make any sense.

To reassure you, the breakout shows that 2% have a "highly favorable" view of the US, while 42% have a "highly unfavorable" view.


One can always stratify the sample to adjust for sampling bias. I wonder where the actual data (not the results, the raw data) can be found.....


The full report is available in PDF here:

Scroll to p. 43 for data.

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