Stephen Beer, Blog, Stephen Beer

Stephen Beer (www.stephenbeer.com)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Faith and conflict - can we find the middle ground?

A Globescan poll for the BBC of 28,000 people in 27 countries reports that majorities believe that middle ground can be found between Muslim and Western cultures (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/6369251.stm#al).

The most optimistic country in the survey is Italy (78% believe middle ground can be found), followed by Great Britain (77%), France (69%), Lebanon (68%), and the US (64%). Indonesia is the most pessimistic, with 51% believing violent conflict is inevitable.

However, 28% believe violent conflict is inevitable, even if most (58%)believe this is due to intolerant minorities.

The full poll results are at http://www.globescan.com/news_archives/bbciswest/ .

Polls are always difficult to read in isolation. However, the positive results for some of the European countries, Britain included, show that perhaps most people are more tolerant and optimistic that sometimes appears to be the case when we watch our televisions or read our newspapers.

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