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Information in the Muslim World

Reader comment on item: Winning the Propaganda War [versus Radical Islam]

Submitted by Paul Bowman (United States), Dec 27, 2005 at 12:20

While I agree with many of the points made in this article, I disagree that much of the Muslim world has ready access to information.

One of the salient facts of the Muslim world is that very few of the countries with majority Muslim populations are democracies with a free press. Most Muslim countries have authoritiarian governments, which greatly restrict the activities of a free press.

Additionally, credible and unbiased information available to Muslim publics cannot be a bad thing. However, the U.S. probably does need to reevaluate its standards for public diplomacy.

As Dr. Pipes points out, the intent is clearly to influence as well as inform, and the "spin" that is put on publicly sponsored media must be effective in educating Muslim publics about Western values. As Dr. Pipes points out: "Rather than try to purvey information to Muslims, State (and its counterparts elsewhere) should instead assert the case for liberal, secular, and humane values.

More than facts, the Muslim world needs to understand the basics of what makes the West thrive – and thereby be inspired to emulate it." While Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty maintained journalistic standards of objectivity, they clearly were intended to influence and were clearly effective in doing so.
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