In remarks at the Heritage Foundation today, Senator Rand Paul explained that while non-intervention alone won’t end the threat of radical Islam, intervention has the effect of fanning its flames. When President Obama first took office in 2009, he went to Cairo to try to reframe the relationship between America and the Muslim world. No amount of lofty words, however, could cover the fact that Obama largely extended and expanded upon George W. Bush’s controversial and polarizing counterterrorism efforts, even as he condemned them in Cairo. The lack of much substantive difference between Bush and Obama is reflected in polls. While perceptions of America saw a slight improvement across the Muslim world upon Obama’s election, they’ve not only been reversed but in some cases are worse than they were in 2008 (including in Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon and Jordan). A Pew Global survey from June shows confidence in Obama down 9 percent, to 24 percent, in Muslim countries, while America’s favorability rating is down to 15 percent from 25 percent. In fact one of the few bright spots in the poll is an improvement in attitudes toward America in Russia, where favorability is up to 52 percent. More results:
The rest of the Pew survey here.
Related: Foreign Policy survey on what makes a radical Muslim, from 2006 (pdf)