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SECTION 3: ENGAGING THE WEST - PERCEPTIONS OF WESTERN FOREIGN POLICIES V.WESTERN FOREIGN POLICY discusses Arab reactions to and perceptions about Western (and particularly US) foreign policy in the Middle East. CRITICAL CONFLICTS details how Arabs perceive US foreign policies, especially with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the war in Iraq. RETHINKING TERRORISM examines how the Arab definition of terrorism diverges from the standard concept of terrorism in the West.Thanks to Charles Hawley, , for helping us to understand this disturbing study about Middle East issues and the "war on terror": "Within the space of nine short weeks from early January to the beginning of March, the image of a region rapidly sliding into a morass of chaos and violence has whiplashed to a storybook tale of an Arab world witnessing the birth of democracy.The Palestinians went to the polls in early January, the Iraqis in late January, the protests in Lebanon -- optimistically dubbed the Cedar Revolution by the US State Department -- appear to be leveraging the Syrian occupiers out of the country and even Saudi Arabia held regional elections recently...The survey also found a more nuanced self-image of Muslim in the Middle East than is often protrayed in the West.While most said they supported Sharia law as a source for legislation, only a tiny minority said they wanted a Taliban-like interpretation of the religious code.

"Thus," write the authors of the study, "while the survey reflected the growing tensions between the Arab world and the West, it does not support the caricature of an Arab public that fully and uniformly rejects the West." ...Sources: A - List of universities and research centres participating to the study: The Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies ? To one degree or another, all of the countries chosen are directly affected by the Arab-Israeli conflict and thus their political orientations, especially in relationship to the West, are profoundly shaped by that conflict.Cairo; The Center for Strategic Studies and Research - University of Damascus ? Beirut B - Synthesis of the study (downloaded from the Center for Strategic Studies website): CSS collaborated with other research centers to conduct this survey in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and the Palestinian Territories (a region known collectively as ? In addition, all of the nations studied share a colonial history with France and the United Kingdom and all are heavily affected by US policies in the region.Western societies are seen as bastions of liberalism, individual liberty and technical progress, yet they are plagued by social problems...It is in the area of foreign policy, however, where most of the disgust with Western countries seems to lie -- and where it becomes apparent that the Middle East has a much more nuanced view of the West than many occidental commentators would have one believe...