Thursday, August 17, 2006

Pew Forum and Islam in the West

The latest bulletin from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has some interesting items on Islam and the West.

The first is a story of cooperation between two unlikely parties, Muslims and Mormons, working together to provide humanitarian aid in the Middle East as a result of the fallout from the war between Israel and Hezbollah. If such divergetnt religious groups as Muslims and Mormons can come together to meet human need then perhaps there's hope for Mormons and evangelicals doing the same.

The second item is an interview in response to a recent Pew Forum Survey:

On July 7, 2006, the Pew Global Attitudes Project released an international survey focusing on Muslim and Western perceptions of each other and on the Muslim experience in Europe. The poll surveyed more than 14,000 people in 13 nations: India, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey, the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Spain. A survey of Muslim populations in the four European countries was conducted in partnership with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

In a wide-ranging interview at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Amaney Jamal, assistant professor in the department of politics at Princeton University and a specialist in the study of Muslim public opinion, commented on the survey's findings and their implications. Jamal is also a senior advisor for a Pew Research Center project on a comprehensive study of the views and attitudes of Muslim Americans. The Forum is a partner in this year-long survey project, which will be completed by next summer.

In the interview, Jamal discusses, among other things, the negative perceptions Westerners and Muslims have of each other, the role of the media in perpetuating stereotypes and what the findings mean for U.S. foreign policy.

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