Muslims, West see divisions deepening

Most people in Muslim and Western countries believe divisions between them are worsening and each side believes the other disrespects their culture, according to a poll released. The Gallup poll, published in a report on Muslim-Western relations for the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this week, reflects “an alarmingly low level of optimism regarding dialogue between Islam and the West”, WEF chairman Klaus Schwab said. Negative perceptions were most prevalent in the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, partly because of violence in Iraq five years after the US-led invasion and because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the report said. “In all but two countries surveyed…a majority believed the interaction between Western and Islamic communities is getting worse,” Schwab said of the poll, which questioned around 1,000 people in each of 21 countries.