Affairs' July 2008 survey
(click here), one learns:
98% say it is important to improve America's standing in the world.
96% say it is important to combat international terrorism.
92% say it is important to combat world hunger.
72% say helping poor countries develop their economies is a measure to assist combating terrorism.
Unlike many issues being parsed on Pennsylvania Avenue and Main
Street, Americans are unified on addressing the systemic causes of
terrorism, including reducing global hunger and promoting human rights.
The results demonstrate the American public understands the motivation
for committing acts of terrorism does not originate in a vacuum.
Instead, the conditions that force families to endure extreme
hardships, limit opportunities and deny basic liberties and political
freedoms have often been the driving forces behind extremism.
That is why another finding from the survey is less encouraging. 70
percent of those polled said they do not want the government supporting
humanitarian aid programs operated by Muslim charities. Unlike
Christian and interfaith groups, which both received over 50 percent
approval, Muslim charities are viewed by many Americans as part of the
problem rather than as an ally in the fight against terrorism.
Underlining this belief is the perception that American Muslim
charities, and charities overall, are vulnerable to be co-opted or
abused by terrorists to raise funds. This is unfounded and inaccurate.
According to the Department of Treasury's own statistics, fewer than
1.5% of organizations listed as a Specially Designated Global
Terrorists (SDGT) are U.S. based nonprofits and charities, including
American Muslim charities. Rather than fueling the violence, charitable
aid and relief programs reduce the symptoms that lead to global
terrorism. And as the results of the poll show, that is exactly what