Obama losing fans in Muslim world (JERUSALEM POST) By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER JPOST CORRESPONDENT 06/14/12)
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WASHINGTON – Approval of US President Barack Obama in the Muslim
world is increasingly falling, according to a Pew survey released
Wednesday that largely blamed his foreign policies for the decline.
“There remains a widespread perception that the US acts unilaterally
and does not consider the interests of other countries,” the Pew
Research Center summarizes. “In predominantly Muslim nations,
American anti-terrorism efforts are still widely unpopular.”
The survey singles out drone strikes targeting extremist leaders as
being particularly disliked, even in European countries that give
higher approval ratings to Obama. Disappointment is also evident in
his handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to the 21-
country survey of more than 26,000 people conducted between March 17
and April 20.
In Muslim countries polled – Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Jordan, Turkey
and Pakistan – confidence in Obama has dropped from 33 percent in
2009 to 24% in 2012. Approval of his international policies has
fallen even more sharply, from 34% to 15%. America’s image overall
has gone from 25% favorability to 15%. Obama does, however, continue
to enjoy higher ratings in Muslim countries than then-president
George W. Bush did in 2008 – as much as 22 points higher in some
cases and tied in only one, the 7% approval Pakistanis have given
When it comes to Obama’s anti-terrorism policies, Lebanon was the
Muslim country to give his efforts the highest grade, with 32%
approving, while most Muslim countries were significantly less
On US drone attacks, 12% of Tunisians approve of the measure, with
all other Muslim countries in the single digits. In contrast, 62% of
Americans approve of them.
Though few Muslim countries in 2009 expected Obama to be “fair with
Israelis and Palestinians,” as the question puts it – Egypt at 24%
expressed the most optimism – the numbers have dropped markedly since.
Now only 11% of Egyptians think Obama has been fair toward the two
parties, the same proportion as in Jordan.
Nine percent of Turks, 5% of Pakistanis and just 3% of Tunisians
agree. Lebanese give him the highest marks, at 18%.
Americans, however, mostly think Obama has been fair toward both
parties, though the number has dropped over the course of his
While 77% thought he would be fair upon entering office, 60% still
think he has been.
Israel was not among the countries surveyed. (© 1995-2011, The
Jerusalem Post 06/14/12)
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