Westerners and Muslims continue to hold negative stereotypes of each other, although views of Muslims in the West appear to have improved marginally over the past five years, according to a new survey released by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, reports IPS.
The survey was based on in-depth interviews with respondents in six predominantly Christian and six predominantly Muslim countries, as well as in Israel and the Palestinian Territories (PT).
“Many in the West see Muslims as fanatical and violent …,” it concluded. At the same time, “Muslims in the Middle East and Asia generally see Westerners as selfish, immoral and greedy – as well as violent and fanatical.
”“The survey obviously gives evidence to those who think there is pretty much an intense and entrenched divide (between the two groups),” noted Andrew Kohut, the Project’s founder and director.
The survey found that majorities or pluralities of respondents in all but three of the countries surveyed said they believed “some religions are more prone to violence than others.”
Among Christian respondents who agreed with that assertion, overwhelming majorities said that Islam was the most violent.
Among respondents in predominantly Muslim countries, on the other hand, similar majorities named Judaism as the most violent. Turkey, however, was an exception: 45 percent pf respondents who said some religions were more violent than others named Christianity as the most violent; 41 percent chose Judaism.