Here's a fact you're not likely to see on tonight's evening news broadcasts: According to a recent poll, Arabs living abroad are more likely to be opposed to the "Ground Zero Mosque" than the American media are.
According to a recent survey by the Arabic online news service Elaph (Arabic version here), 58 percent of Arabs think the construction should be moved elsewhere. And according to a Media Research Center study released last week, 55 percent of network news coverage of the debate has come down on the pro-Mosque side.
The MRC study also found that on the question of whether opposition to the mosque demonstrated a widely held "Islamophobia" among Americans, 93 percent of network news soundbites answered ion the affirmative. In contrast, when asked whether the United States is a "tolerant" or "bigoted" society, 63 percent of Elaph respondents chose the former.
So the Arab world has a more favorable view of Americans than our own media elite, and sides with the American people over the network news broadcasters on the hot-button issue of the day.
Faoud Ajami highlighted the Elaph poll in his Wall Street Journal column on Monday:
From his recent travels to the Persian Gulf-sponsored and paid for by the State Department-Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf returned with a none-too-subtle threat. His project, the Ground Zero Mosque, would have to go on. Its cancellation would risk putting "our soldiers, our troops, our embassies and citizens under attack in the Muslim world."
Leave aside the attempt to make this project a matter of national security. The self-appointed bridge between America and the Arab-Islamic world is a false witness to the sentiments in Islamic lands.
Deputy Editorial Page Editor Bret Stephens and Editorial Board member Matthew Kaminski on the plan for a 'Mosque at Ground Zero,' and Senior Editorial Writer Joseph Rago reports on the Missouri results.
The truth is that the trajectory of Islam in America (and Europe for that matter) is at variance with the play of things in Islam's main habitat. A survey by Elaph, the most respected electronic daily in the Arab world, gave a decided edge to those who objected to the building of this mosque-58% saw it as a project of folly.
Elaph was at it again in the aftermath of Pastor Terry Jones's threat to burn copies of the Quran: It queried its readers as to whether America was a "tolerant" or a "bigoted" society. The split was 63% to 37% in favor of those who accepted the good faith and pluralism of this country.
So a larger proportion of Arabs believe in that notion than American journalists. That is a sad indictment of the press in this country.