Publisher: The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal , December 19, 2005
Husain Haqqani and Kennneth Ballen debate the popularly peddled view that anti-Americanism in the Muslim world is so pervasive and deep-rooted it might take generations to alter. A new poll from Pakistan, a critical front-line in the war on terror, paints a very different picture — by revealing a sea-change in public opinion in recent months. The important point is that direct contact with Americans on a humanitarian mission, including military personnel, has a positive impact on how Muslims view America.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t still more work to be done. The Muslim “street” is still not sold on specific American policies, with the poll finding the Pakistani public now opposes current U.S. policy in the war on terror by a larger margin than in May. But the overall message from Pakistan, pointing towards a potential trend in the Muslim world in general, is a positive one.