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why do radical islamists hate the us

"Islam hates us," Republican frontrunner
on Friday. Mr Trump later stood by his claim in a televised debate in Miami, saying: "There is tremendous hatred, and I will stick with exactly what I said. " It led to an outcry, with Senator Marco Rubio launching an impassioned defence of Muslims. There are clearly some radical Muslims who despise the US and other Western countries - including those who carried out the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. But what of Donald Trump's claim that Muslims in general hate the country? No major polling agency has yet asked whether respondents "hate" America. However, several have measured broad sentiment among the world's 1. 6 billion Muslims. The Pew Research Centre, which surveys global attitudes, said anti-Americanism was strong around the word around the time of the US invasion of Iraq. However, currently there is little evidence of profound anti-American sentiment except for in a handful of countries, it says. Bruce Stokes, director of global economic attitudes at Pew, says sentiment towards the US varies widely between Muslim-majority countries. "We tend to see more negative sentiment among Muslims in the Middle East, such as those from Egypt and Jordan," he says. President Obama's two terms in office have seen a general improvement in perceptions of the US among Muslims, Pew Research Centre says "But Muslims outside the Middle East generally have a more positive outlook," he adds. In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, 62% of people hold a favourable opinion of the US, suggests. That figure rises to 80% in Senegal, a country which is over 90% Muslim. Mr Stokes points out that this is a stronger approval rate than Germany. "Attitudes have also been changing over time. We've seen a gradual rise in positive sentiment since President Barack Obama came to power," Mr Stokes says. "Even in the Palestinian Territories, where sentiment is 70% unfavourable, that's an improvement on 82% in Barack Obama's first year. " Pakistanis tend to have negative opinions of the US, but experts argue this has more to do with politics than religion The BBC World Service commissioned of global attitudes in 24 countries in 2014.


Among other things, it asked respondents if they thought the US "had a mainly positive or mainly negative influence in the world". Pakistanis generally held the worst view of the US, with 61% saying the US had a negative influence. But both China and Germany were not far behind, scoring 59% and 57% respectively. Turkey, almost 98% Muslim, was split between 36% positive, 36% negative and 28% neutral. Doctrine or diplomacy? Dalia Mogahed, co-author of Who Speaks for Islam? , say religion is not the key driver of anti-American sentiment in Muslim-majority countries. "It's nothing to do with religion and everything to do with policy," she says. In Pakistan, for example, anti-US sentiment spiked by 7% in 2011, the Pew data shows - that was the year in which the US launched a raid to kill Osama Bin Laden, which many Pakistanis saw as an infringement of their national sovereignty. "Also, compare Muslim sentiment towards America with sentiment towards Canada. Our neighbour to the north shares our dominant culture and religion but not our foreign policy. And global Muslim opinion towards Canada is generally very positive," Ms Mogahed says. In the end then, it comes down to an old statistician's staple: Correlation does not imply causation. Mr. Trump would also keep open the prison at Bay, which Mr. Obama tried to close, and reportedly is considering designating the Muslim, which is involved in Muslim politics in a number of countries, as a terrorist organization. Some experts see the move as a chance for the Trump administration to limit Muslim political activity in the United States. But since President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, a NATO ally, sympathizes with the Muslim Brotherhood, such a step would further complicate that fraught alliance.


Taken together, Mr. TrumpБs plans would damage AmericaБs credibility as guardian of human rights, anger allies and undermine civil liberties at home. They will also inspire fear in law-abiding Muslims everywhere, but especially those in America, whose help is crucial to identifying and pre-empting young people tempted by extremism. At the C. I. A. meeting, Mr. Trump hinted at a yet more radical step. During the campaign, he often lamented that America did not take possession of IraqБs oil after the 2003 invasion. On Saturday, he went further and said Бmaybe weБll have another chance,Б suggesting he may be considering another invasion to seize IraqБs oil, a violation of international law. Such a move, against an ally no less, could incite extremist attacks against the United States. Mr. Trump seemed not to realize that ISIS gets most of its oil revenue from Syria. To understand Mr. TrumpБs thinking, one might look to his national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, author of the book БThe Field of Fight. Б Mr. Flynn was fired from his job as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Obama administration. He has trafficked in fake news and been part of the world of conspiracy theorists who trade in fantasies that Shariah law is being imposed on Americans. A fearful tone permeates Mr. FlynnБs book, which warns, БWeБre in a world war against a messianic mass movement of evil people, most of them inspired by a totalitarian ideology: Radical Islam. Б For Mr. Flynn and fellow radicals, the fight isnБt against a small number of religious fanatics who seek to attack the West and its Arab allies, but an entire religion. Mr. Obama and former President George W. Bush generally agreed that terrorists had perverted the teachings of Islam, not that Islam was the problem. For them and most national security experts, containing terrorism meant focusing on individuals and groups that were intent on doing harm to America Б namely Al Qaeda and groups like ISIS Б while not turning all Muslims into the enemy.


Not so Mr. Trump, who said last year, БI think Islam hates us,Б and Mr. Flynn, who has decried Islamism as a Бvicious cancer. Б Both Mr. Flynn and Sebastian Gorka, the national security editor at the alt-right website Breitbart News, who may be considered for a position in the Trump administration as a counterterrorism adviser and wrote a book titled БDefeating Jihad,Б characterize Бradical IslamБ to be as grave a threat as Hitler in World War II and the Soviet Union in the Cold War. In his book, Mr. Flynn labels as extremist enemies a wide range of groups, including not just Sunni Muslim groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda, but countless others and many countries, like North Korea, Shiite-majority Iran, China, Syria, Venezuela and Russia. Mr. Flynn seems to be advocating a shotgun approach toward a target that requires precision. Mr. Flynn also hints that the battlefield could expand beyond current conflicts in the Middle East, writing that Бwe must engage the violent Islamists wherever they areБ and promising Бsevere consequencesБ for Saudi Arabia and other countries if they continue aiding terrorist groups. He is especially alarmed about Iran and argues that Washington Бshould consider how to change Iran from within. Б The president has a responsibility to defend the country against extremist threats, but the ideas of Mr. Flynn and others, if adopted, seem like a recipe for endless world war. It is especially hard to see how destabilizing Iran, one of the few intact countries in the Middle East, would advance American interests at a time the region is in chaos. The United States undoubtedly must find more effective ways to defeat terrorists, including by undermining their message. If Mr. Trump can do that, it will be to his credit. But to a great extent success will depend on long-term cooperation from Muslim leaders and allies.

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