Information Warfare: March 28, 2002


: An explosive Gallup poll released a few weeks ago included startling findings: a vast majority of Moslems did not think Arabs were at the controls of the hijacked airliners on 11 September, 53 percent did not like the US, and only 9 percent thought US attacks in Afghanistan were justified. There are, however, some problems with the poll. It surveyed only nine Moslem countries (Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey ), which together amount to 40 percent of the Arab world. People who were polled were not necessarily Moslems or even citizens of the countries where the polls were taken, and the results were averaged with each country counting the same regardless of its population. There were major variations between countries; only 4 percent of Indonesians thought that the 11 September attacks were morally justified while 36 percent in Kuwait did. Averaged by numbers of people in each country, these two results would show that 5 percent of the Arab world think the attacks were justified, but the poll counted the two countries equally which pushed the percentage to 20 percent. --Stephen V Cole


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