14 March 2008

Interesting info on Muslim thought

Did anybody else out there catch the Mar. 3 broadcast of NPR's Talk of the Nation? It was an interview with Dalia Mogahed, one of the authors of a recent book called, Who Speaks for Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think which was based on a self-funded six-year Gallup study of Muslims throughout the world.
I thought it was very interesting. I would like to see the hard data -- in addition to the interpretation -- and have asked my library to see if they can inter-library-loan it for me so it can sit on the desk waiting to be read until I return it. The program was about 30 minutes. As with all call-in shows, part of it is ridiculous, but part of it is fascinating. I'd recommend it if you have the time.
Among the interesting points --
  • That which is most admired about the West by both Westerners AND Muslims was freedom and technological advances.
  • That which was most criticized about the West by both Westerners AND Muslims was the breakdown of moral values.
  • Radical Muslims are not more likely to live in poverty or be undereducated.
  • Those who identify themselves as radicals do not generally identify themselves as more religious than moderates.
  • Most Muslims thought Americans were likeable, though most had not met Americans.
I don't really know what all this means, but it is an interesting conversation and one that could be very informative.

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