Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Clash of civilisations? More likely a few stirrers

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Clash of civilisations? More likely a few stirrers

    It is bad news for radio shock jocks and clash of civilisation theorists. A poll of 28,000 people in 27 countries has found most believe political and economic interests - not religious and cultural diversity - are the underlying cause of violent conflict in the world today.

    In the joint BBC World Service- Sydney Morning Herald poll, 52 per cent said conflicting interests were the primary reason for tensions between Islam and the West, compared with 29 per cent who thought religion and culture were to blame.

    A global majority, according to the poll, rejects the idea, popularised by the American academic Samuel P. Huntington, of an inevitable clash of civilisations based on religion and culture.

    A poll-topping 68 per cent of Australians blamed "intolerant minorities on both sides" of the Islam/West divide for stirring up tensions. Only one in 10 Australians surveyed blamed intolerant Muslims exclusively.

    "Two out of three people in Australia understand that there are those on all sides of this question who just love to stir," said Paul Korbel, of Market Focus International, the pollster that conducted the survey here.

    Of all people surveyed, twice as many (56 per cent) believe "common ground can be found" as those who see violent conflict between Islam and the West as inevitable (28 per cent).

    Despite the terrorist attacks of September 2001, the debacle in Iraq, and tensions between Islam and other faiths that are frequently highlighted by politicians and the media, most people remain optimistic.

    While the world's problems are seen as fundamentally political and economic in nature, most of those polled in Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe also blamed intolerant minorities for stirring up tensions. Australians in particular (80 per cent) were inclined to this view.

    But a significant minority in all countries believed violent conflict was inevitable, and that religion and culture were the main causes. In Australia 26 per cent of people surveyed see conflict between Islam and the West as inevitable, with 35 per cent blaming religious and cultural differences.

    "If a quarter of the Australian population believes violent conflict is inevitable, and over a third think religious and cultural difference is the reason, then that's cause for concern," Mr Korbel said. "Perhaps education programs aimed at the intolerant minority should be boosted."

    But it is worse elsewhere. In Indonesia, most (51 per cent) see violent conflict between Islam and the West as inevitable. People in Egypt (43 per cent) and Germany (39 per cent) agreed.

    In only one country, Nigeria, did most people (56 per cent) believe that tensions primarily arise from "differences of religion and culture", but a sizeable minority also agreed with the proposition in Kenya (39 per cent) and the US (38 per cent).

    The poll was conducted between November 3 and January 16 in telephone and face-to-face interviews. Nations surveyed included China, India, Britain, Brazil, Nigeria, Lebanon, Russia, France, Turkey and Mexico.

    Not surprisingly, given the violence in much of the Muslim world, and the focus on them of post-September 11 debates, Muslims are slightly more prone to see violent conflict as inevitable (35 per cent, compared to 27 per cent for Christians and others).

    But globally a majority of the 5000 Muslims surveyed believed that finding common ground was possible. Even in countries with a history of political and religious strife, such as Lebanon and Nigeria, a majority of Muslims continue to believe peaceful solutions are possible.

    And even among Muslims a 55 per cent majority worldwide saw politics, not religion or culture, as the cause of tensions between Islam and the West.

    The fact that in Indonesia a slim majority of Muslims see conflict between Islam and the West as inevitable will be of concern to policymakers here. Indonesia is Australia's most populous neighbour, with a bigger Muslim population than any other nation. It was the only country in which the dark view predominated.

    Clash of civilisations? More likely a few stirrers

  • #2
    It is bad news for radio shock jocks and clash of civilisation theorists. A poll of 28,000 people in 27 countries has found most believe political and economic interests - not religious and cultural diversity - are the underlying cause of violent conflict in the world today.
    eh wallah... sa7

    Comment

    Unconfigured Ad Widget

    Collapse
    Working...
    X