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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 May, 2005, 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK
US 'could win over Muslim world'
Muslims burn US flag in India
Hostility towards the US among the world's Muslims has grown
The US could improve its image among Muslims if it listened more, adopted a humbler tone and emphasised its aid programmes, a report says.

The US-based Council of Foreign Relations surveyed college-educated people in Egypt, Morocco and Indonesia.

It found a lot of hostility towards the US, but also concluded that there was a chance for change.

The US, the report says, is still respected for its economy, work ethic, and educational and legal systems.

The support of the educated elite in the Muslim world - the group surveyed - is vital for US-backed reforms, the report's authors say.

"Although many Muslims are angry at what they perceive America does, the right efforts to communicate can produce significant shifts in attitude.

"Such efforts would involve listening more, speaking in a humbler tone, and focusing on bilateral aid and partnership, while tolerating disagreement on controversial policy issues."

Grudging respect

The research is based on 14 focus groups and was carried out "at a time of cautious optimism" in the three Muslim countries last December.

Researchers found a lot of initial hostility and resentment towards US power and President George W Bush.

"Yet Muslims still respect, if somewhat grudgingly, America's economic strength, educational and legal systems, and work ethic," the report noted.

"They recognise that America possesses what they believe their own societies need most to develop."

The report went on: "What Muslims say they want from America is respect, understood as consultation and non-intervention, and development aid in which they, not Americans, define their needs."

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