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Your earlier comments on Clash of Cultures


I have just seen the Panorama program, and feel that two very different sides were put across. I feel that though there were some very good points raised, there was ignorance from both sides, though I do feel the ignorance from the Islamabad side stemmed from possible lack of information to an extent. However, there was a ton of ignorance and arrogance from the American audience too, and I'm afraid they will not learn anything from September the 11th.

As for believing that the West has a free press, they have to be joking. Every time something is stated from the Afghan side, it is "alleged", but when it is American then it has to be true. If a strike is successful, there are videos etc, but when something is reportedly hit by mistake, its "oh we have no way to verify this". Also, it was reported that the 10-year-old son of the Taleban leader was killed in an air strike, which is atrocious, but nothing has been reported in case people see the human side of this whole mess. We have not seen very much of the human side of this so-called war, with so many thousands fleeing. How come we don't hear some of their stories, or are they all going to be lies.

The most disturbing thing to come out of this program is the fact that Richard Perle should hold a position of Chairman of the Pentagon Advisory Board considering he is such an arrogant, offensive man who actually did more harm to the "this is not a war against Islam" argument.

This was a very good programme, but it would have been good to see some people with the middle of the road point of view rather than the two extremes.
Shane Woodhouse
Southampton


How much should civilians in Afghanistan have to pay for the errors of their leaders?

Peter Deegan
We found David Dimbleby's handling of the debate most unhelpful. His constant emphasis on conflict rather than agreement, he frequently interrupted speakers from Islamabad, preventing them from fully making their points, he personally talked more about a war against Islam than the speakers on either side of the debate.
Pat Ellis

How much should civilians in Afghanistan have to pay for the errors of their leaders? If the bombing continues without pause, millions of refugees may simply die of hunger over the Afghan winter. Is this acceptable "collateral damage"? These refugee deaths are certainly foreseeable and preventable by the "Allies" and so they will have to take responsibility for such fallout from their actions. Afghan civilians were not a movement, which bombed the Trade Center, nor can they be said to be in control of their government.
Peter Deegan
Dublin

I cannot believe the total ignorance shown by the panel in Islamabad. Seemingly very educated people appear to be totally brainwashed against the West and democratic values. Bin Laden's guilt in this instance is irrelevant as he has shown by his actions in the past and since the attacks that the civilised world will be a better place when he is gone. Whether Pakistan comes into this category is questionable after what I have heard tonight.
Robert Strain
Airdrie

Is it not a fact that Israel has continuously ignored UN resolution to leave occupied territories? Is it not a fact that the US does not pay its dues to the UN and bankrolls the Israelis? Is it not a fact that the Israelis behave as badly as the Nazis as an occupying power? They too have a Gestapo and death squads like the SS albeit it on a smaller scale.
John van der Pas
Poole


A violent response to violence only makes things worse

Nora Kelson
Richard Perle's arrogance, insensitivity and lack of ability to see any alternative to his own prejudiced view is shocking and explains much about why the USA has so many enemies around the world. Calling the Pakistani point of view "Rubbish" and "Rambling" is utterly disrespectful and narrow minded. One would imagine that many North Americans would be ashamed to have this man representing their country, and how he came to be Chairman to the Pentagon Advisory Board is both baffling, and frightening!
Jane
Oxford

The programme became for me up-to-date and live evidence that a violent response to violence only makes things worse. That American/British response to the tragedy in the States has polarised two cultures. It is sad, and it is dangerous.
Nora Kelson

Tim McVeigh was called a US survivalist criminal, Baruch Goldstein was called, correctly, an extremist Jewish fundamentalist terrorist. Irish Protestant and Irish Catholic terrorists are called Irish Protestant or Irish Catholic terrorists. Rightly and correctly. For it is in blind furtherance of their particular faith or ideology that they commit terrorist acts. By and large, people know to call a spade a spade.

What else should terrorists be called, who pretend to use Islam as their ideological driver, who quote the Qur'an in defence of their crimes, and who pretend to be true defenders of the Islamic faith - than fundamentalist Islamic terrorists. The Islam in their brand of terrorism is the critical ingredient. It's wrong, it' s misguided, it may corrupt true Islam, but it is in the name of that faith system that heinous crimes are carried out.

It is therefore entirely disingenuous for the panellists in Islamabad to take exception to the description. They should instead take exception to the acts committed in the name, villainously assumed, of Islam.
Michael Zur-Szpiro
London


This is like families arguing- except here nations are at it

Tanver Khan
September 11th was day one. If, as the international energy agency predict, oil production peaks in 2011 then America will have no choice but to exert even greater influence in the Middle East. This will no doubt result in more terrorist activity. One hell of an argument for establishing a renewable energy policy!! The American people on the show this evening seemed to be quite vocal in their support for UN resolutions but, as we have recently seen, do not accept resolutions to protect innocent people from starvation and death due to climate terrorism. An average Afghani contributes less to global warming in a year than an American does in one day. Incidentally, a drought in the region is unprecedented. Draw your own conclusions.
Hazell
London

Why is there no coalition to help the Palestinian people? I find it hard to believe that in a country where the people have invaded each other's land that no help is given? Israel is a nation that needs to be told to stop this. America not doing so, or taking part in any form of coalition has brought about the hate against it.

There are two partitions to the world - East and West. This partition must be brought down for all to live in peace- see all this is like families arguing- except here nations are at it, there is no big brother or sister to help.
Tanver Khan
Bradford

Bin Laden is not a 'poor' Afghan, but a very rich (ex) Saudi. Why doesn't he give up all this global vandalism and give his riches to help Afghanistan? Especially through this winter?? $60 million would go a LONG way out there! His obsession with killing Americans by proxy has clearly NOT helped Afghanistan one little bit; but I doubt he cares one little bit about that.
Max Parker
Oakham, Rutland

The terrible tragic events of Sep 11 cannot be justified in anyway what so ever. However, can we so casually and easily divorce happenings around this world from American foreign policy? I really feel an honest (non-political and without economic interests) approach to this important fact is required.
Sohail Raza
Rotterdam


The West still retains power over the poorer countries by keeping a tight grip on their wealth and resources

E.Collier
It is hypocrisy for the Muslims to claim that they are discriminated in this country, so are most of the others from the Indian subcontinent. More to the point is that most of the Islamic States are non elected and also does not tolerate any other belief to the extent that any pictures, statues or literature of other beliefs are confiscated and destroyed at the ports of entry and none allowed within. The Words shown in the Birmingham mosque so boldly 'There is No god but Allah' seem to exclude any one else's beliefs. This is also clear from the name 'Infidel' given to non-Muslims
Jayson
London

I feel the Muslim community, along with other religious communities around the world are 100% right to regard the US as arrogant and imperialist. Centuries after slavery has supposedly been outlawed and most colonisation is long gone, the West still retains power over the poorer countries by keeping a tight grip on their wealth and resources. There are multitudes of examples... in South Africa - diamonds, Nigeria - oil and the list goes on. It is not until we have a fairer world that "terrorists" will stop targeting Western nations!
E. Collier
London

I have yet to hear a Muslim say that jihad is not acceptable in the modern world. If Islam truly is a religion of peace, why is the concept of "holy war" part of it? Actions speak louder than words.
Brian Bonkowski
Manchester


This is a straightforward incursion against terrorism

Donald Knox-Richards
American aid to Israel prevented the genocide of the Jewish nation by its 'unfriendly' neighbours. The massacre in Sabra and Shatila was committed, at the end of the day, by Arabs, not Israelis. The Israelis have shown time and time again that they indeed want the establishment of a Palestinian state, and resort only to active protection. It is about time that European and Arab reporters would notice that their bias is the one that incites violence.
Ido
Eindhoven, the Netherlands

This is not a war about religion. This is a straightforward incursion against terrorism, it makes no difference whether it was started by countries with different religions because I feel that Muslims are a religion to be respected like any other. However, Muslims are being used in this battle as scapegoats to a war about terrorism, and not once, I repeat, not once was the word "scapegoat" used in tonight's programme on Panorama. The whole solution and concentration in this awful showdown should be directed on Bin Laden himself and his followers, they must be brought to justice in whatever form that will take. The religious aspect of this war is nothing more than a misnomer and should not be part of the overall aims of the global partners to which this war is representative.
Donald Knox-Richards
Liverpool

I think Political Correctness has gone too far in the UK when I know of a Mormon Church which was set on fire in Scotland and had to be completely renovated, a Baptist church which has been vandalised, along with other Christian churches of different denominations.

I can't believe that as soon as one Mosque is targeted we have new Religious Anti Bigotry laws. Who do you think gets a fair deal in Scotland?
Concerned Christian, Coatbridge, Scotland.

Is the difference between East and West just the rich and the poor? Is the difference between a legitimate fight and terrorist the weapons they can use? Do people kill themselves and as many of there enemies as they can because the have nothing and nothing to lose and no way to make it better? Is it better to die from obesity or starvation?
Steve
Dumfriesshire


Well done to the Pakistanis for stating their case calmly

Tahir Shaikh
The Western media has demonised Muslims so well in portraying them as terrorists that it's ironic to see Western leaders trying to undo systematic demonising of Muslims over the last 20 years. They have been working so hard to convince the world that Muslims=Terrorists that every time the mention War against Terrorism, it is hardly surprising that Muslims (and many westerners too)automatically think it is against them. Well done to the proficiency of the Western Media.
A Slam
London

Excellent idea to have a 'dialogue' between two cultures. Shame that the US lived up to its reputation of arrogance and trigger-happy cowboys, fed on a diet of lies and prejudice by the media. Well done to the Pakistanis for stating their case calmly - Islam does not equal terrorism, yet this is a war on Islam, not a war on terrorism.
Tahir Shaikh
London

As someone who calls himself a Christian because I follow Christ, I find it difficult to accept it when the West in general is defined as "Christian". It is not. We live in a secular polytheistic society. I wonder how much Islamic communities fail to realise this, and how much this contributes to the acrimony between nations/cultures or call the groups what you will.
John Thompson
Maghull, Merseyside

This is the worst panorama program I've ever watched. The discussion was very badly managed. Very much an "us against them" set up. There was no intelligent thinking at all! I'm appalled at this. Dimbleby should be sacked!

One last thing, Britain is allied with the US in their war against terrorism and we should therefore support our armed forces and our government, the BBC is seriously out of step here. My opinion of the BBC is very low at present. I'm disgusted.
Armand Sonneville
London

I do not see this as a war. I see it more as a policing action. The fact is that the Muslim countries have not policed themselves. They have allowed terrorists to use their countries at will. Unless they take control and responsibility for these groups and police them, the policing will be done for them. This is what the US and UK are doing right now.
George Brooke
Cambridge


I am afraid that there is a great clash of cultures

Steve Fuller
The problems do not lie in religion at all, it lies in American foreign policy. Year after year America persists in intervening in forgiven matters, whether it be against Communism in Guatemala, Cuba, Korea or Vietnam, or against so called dictatorships such as Saddam in the Gulf. It is time America realised that they are not the world police, and simply because someone does not live like they do, they should not be toppled and replaced by American puppet governments dependant on American favour.
Keiran Allan
Aberdeen

After watching the debate tonight, I am afraid that there is a great clash of cultures. These problems will not be solved by what seems to be a lack of tolerance on all sides of opposing views. There were clear views expressed on all sides and deep beliefs made clear. A very well put together programme, giving the viewers the opportunity to hear differing sides of the current crisis.
Steve Fuller
(city) Brighton&Hove

The USA is by far the greatest provider of humanitarian aid in the world. With all this concern about the suffering of innocent Afghan civilians, how much aid is being given by the oil-rich states of Brunei, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to their Muslim brothers?
Geoffrey Foster Taylor
Halstead

Interesting discussion that should have been given much more air time. However no-one mentioned the number of Afghanistan civilians that have been murdered by the Taliban!
Poppy
Hastings

If you want to target an individual or group of individuals in a country the size of Afghanistan there must be a better way than bombing the whole country. Israel is constantly assassinating Palestinians - should we think of them as terrorists?
David Aston

If there is evidence, then it should be shown to the world, as it affects each one of us! As the USA is a democracy & the likes of Pakistan are a dictatorship we should all be allowed to see the information!
Salma

I can't believe that you let a person like Pearle onto your programme, he was arrogant and slanderous. I agree with the people in Islamabad, the USA audience seemed ill informed and arrogant too. Who will understand the fight of a neighbouring nation if not the neighbour? Maybe we need to see the truth. Panorama seemed to side with the Americans and give them more time.
Arnold
Birmingham


Just what would happen.... if the USA and Britain did not provide aid?

A Patel
I am a British Muslim and while watching Panorama, I was disappointed that a debate turned into an arguing contest; with one question followed by another question, one accusation followed by another accusation... with NO ANSWERS in between. There is too much emotion, and who can blame them.

With all parties so devoted in telling people their own views, and nobody wanting to listen to anybody else's, how can a debate occur. I was disgusted how rude the American people were towards the people talking in Islamabad, especially Richard Pearle saying that it doesn't matter what the Pakistani people say. The programme achieved nothing, except maybe irritate more people on every side.
Wasim Mushtaq
Glasgow

Since the 11th I still find it hard to see and hear people supporting the Taliban and Bin Laden. They are annoyed with a few innocent casualties. Just what would happen to them if the USA and Britain did not provide aid?
A Patel
West Midlands

I am grateful to have watched a programme that has attempted to put both sides of the story after what has been a whole month of receiving news mainly from US media only. If this so called war is about destroying 'terrorists' then so be it. Will we be seeing bombs raining down on Northern Ireland in the near future? I think not.

The sponsoring of military regimes and the putting down of emerging free democracies all over the world has been the one of the biggest problems that perhaps are behind the terrible events of Sept 11th. But let us also not forget that innocent civilian lives are lost on a daily basis in Iraq. That a million people died in Indonesia, countless in East Timor. The list goes on. I would urge anyone in the US to read John Pilger and Noam Chomsky to see who the true villains and terrorists are in the world. No one profits from war other than the defence industry. In peace.
Louise Oldfield
London

A few weeks ago the BBC had a week of programmes about Islam, including one on dealing with "Islamophobia". The use of the term 'phobia' implied that criticism of Islam was a kind of mental illness, like agoraphobia. Now it seems, the perceptions of people which led them to criticise Islam were not paranoid or 'phobic' but spot on correct.
William
Leicester

I am British and I am a member of HM Armed Forces, but I am astonished with the attitudes of your America guests. They have no right to talk about other Nations as being ill-informed. It is the American public which is ignorant as their press feeds them with a one sided narrative of little value. The USA must realise that it the American way is not the only way and it is certainly not the right way for all.
A Moore
Scotland, UK


Surely we should have acted in a more civilised fashion

Jane Smithson
The US panel prove undoubtedly that the US people are blind to World Politics and quite rightly, insular. This 'new' war has been active for years. It is about the oil channels through the 'Stani' region in Central Asia. It is about aggression around the Arab area for the resources. The Western, 'civilised' world has strived for control of that area in the past and failed. Now, that Washington has given US citizens a voice, it must now educate them.
Mr Wittak
Telford

Bin Laden has won, he set out to start a war between the West and Muslins, and we have fallen into his trap. Surely we should have acted in a more civilised fashion and acted with more restraint.
Jane Smithson
Duns, Scottish Borders

Bush needed a war to have any hope of re-election. The American public opinion WANTED a war. This underlines the fact that "due legal process" could not possibly have had chance, and won't in the future.

It is interesting that the US audience don't realise how US foreign policy is viewed, even in Europe. It is time for the US to re-examine its policies in a wider context, because until it does, it will continue to breed bin Ladens and their "war against terrorism" (whose terrorism, exactly?) will fail.
K. Hyatt
Orpington

If the ignorant and bellicose Richard Perle is representative of the American people (and I don't doubt he is), then they really should prepare of many more years of terror. They have to face up to reality - there is a very good reason for them being as hated as they are.
Ana
London

Having watched this programme I have several points to make. I think the Pakistani neurologist is very na´ve. If you think someone is responsible for a crime you arrest that person, you have a trial... you then present the evidence. You don't publish the evidence in the local paper first.

I am pleased to see that you have some female Muslims on the programme, though I think you should not have one who is hiding behind a mask, who is she afraid of?

The Engineer was saying how Islam is a peaceful, wonderful religion...so how come women have no rights under it. I guess he means it is a good religion for men.

At the same time some of the Americans on the programme show why people from other countries dislike them, and their policies. The person who spoke the most sense was the Muslim in New York, the editor. The man from the Pentagon showed a great deal of arrogance, he rubbished others so rudely I could not believe it. Hope they don't appoint him as a diplomat!
Alba
Perth

I strongly believe that none of the parties were trying to understand each other. Pakistanis and Muslims are not justifying the tragedy of Sept. 11th. What they are saying is follow the procedures developed in civilized world in order to pursue justice. For example if I'm walking on the street with my child, and you are having walk with your child as well. Now if I go, and kill your child, my action couldn't be justified. Your anger and grief is justifiable, but without following the process of trial, if you walk to my child, and kill him, your action can't be justified as well. Now what the Muslim world is complaining is that America is not following procedures that must have followed as the champion of civilization. Americans should ask their govt, and their corporations, what is their "National Interest" which is making it impossible for them to leave the Peninsula of Arabia.
Malick Noor
Karachi, Pakistan

The Islamabad panel accused media of failing to label Northern Irish terrorists as Christian terrorists. Why can't they see that Bin Laden has done what he has done in the name of Islam, while Irish terrorists do not do what they do in the name of Christianity? There is something in the religion of Islam that leads to more extremist behaviour than any other religion.
Dave Morris
St. Albans


Those that attack Islam, should do so only after knowing what the religion is and not from ignorance

Sarah, Manchester
Maybe the attacks on Afghanistan will not only prevent further terrorist attacks, which is probably unlikely, but will give some liberation and human rights to the women of Afghanistan. If this happens I will be pleased that the United States and it's allies are taking the action that they are. War on Islam? Yes, but only by Bin Laden and his followers who killed many Moslems in the attacks on the twin towers.
Sharaz
London

Not all Muslims think that the US is bad. Every country has bad policies and for anyone to say that the 'bad policies' of the US justifies such horrible attacks is wrong and for any Muslim to suggest that is wrong. I wish people would stop going on about a 'clash of civilisations'. I'm a Muslim and British, and am proud of that and don't feel that there is any clash in that. I'm a bit concerned about the Muslim views being portrayed in the papers, TV and radio. Do we have to keep hearing speakers who claim to speak on behalf of all UK/world Muslims, but who in fact do not (at all). People are blaming my religion, which has been hijacked by the fanatics. Those that attack Islam, should do so only after knowing what the religion is and not from ignorance by saying that Muslims want to convert the world. There is no basis for that in Islam. Those that are quoting verses from the Quran are taking them out of context. Any verse that encourages fighting should be read with the knowledge of when they were revealed.(ie. during oppression and therefore in defence). Islam does not want to convert the world by force or convert them at all. Religion is a matter of choice, and that is the Islamic view.
Sarah
Manchester

I was very reassured by Mr. Pearle's strong stance. The Muslim world does indeed need to take a long hard look at itself, at the terrorism everywhere apparent wherever Islam encounters a non-Muslim culture (India, China, parts of Africa, as well as the West). Muslims need to stop whining about how the West is to blame for everything and instead get pro-active about improving education and democracy in their own countries. We in the West are sick and tired of being vilified for the state of the world.
Michael Entill
Bristol


The western world has no reasons at all to look down on the Islamic values

Robert Dannecker
Are Muslims supposed to be convinced that Osama Bin Laden was responsible without seeing the evidence just because certain Muslim governments say there is evidence against him - even though many of the governments are not elected by the people or representative of their views? For example in the case of Pakistan did the lifting of sanctions and debt have nothing to do with Musharrafs decisions?

Secondly, if there is so much evidence against Osama Bin Laden why did America think it should be exempt from following International Law and bring him to trial (as Milosevic was tried) but instead take matters into its own hands? Why is it one rule for America and another for the rest of us?
Ashraf
Slough

Congratulations for your balanced programme. I am not a politician, I am a scientist. However, it is common sense, that the 'voice of arrogance' is not very helpful to dissolve that complicated matter, and the approach stated by the former British foreign minister is much more wise. My country Germany gained a lot after the Second World War, establishing a democratic constitution with the intellectual German exile and resistance community supported by Britain, the US, France. The western world has no reasons at all to look down on the Islamic values. If you would conduct an intelligence test, comparing the articulated Pakistani lady in the discussion group with some leading figures in the US administration, I might probably be able to predict the outcome. We all hope that Europe will play a significant role to help those countries, and the role of the British diplomacy is very much appreciated.
Robert Dannecker
Glasgow

I am a Muslim who has lived in the UK all my life. I was appalled to see the innocent lives being taken in New York and Washington, just as I have been appalled to see American backed Israeli tanks and F-16's take on Palestinian children, as well as Iraqi children who have starved due to US sanctions. Why haven't the west responded to this disaster with the intelligence that we say we have, instead the US has just created another 500 Bin Ladens by bombing one of the poorest countries in the world. Richard Pearle showed the typical gung-ho arrogance when he said they would wipe out terrorism, if he believes that the US will succeed in ridding the world of this evil, they should start at looking at themselves. If they want justice they should try Bin Laden in an Islamic court where the penalty if found guilty is death, that way we will have one dead terrorist not hundreds and thousands of dead innocent afgans.
Kamran Hussain
London

I have to say, I've heard it from both sides of the Atlantic now. Democracy in the West is our weakness to terrorists. Osama is hell bent on destroying the Western civilisation as we all know it. I have no doubts about it.
Mike
Kettering

Terrorism against USA will not cease until the Americans recognise that a Muslim life is worth the same as an American life.
Kasser
Birmingham

I think it is a shame that the US panel never got the point and that the Islamabad panel never expressed it clearly. The question is not if Osama Bin Laden is guilty or not but why, assuming he is guilty as the USA panel has done, they are supporting a war instead of an approach based on international law. They said they have done all that is 'humanly possible' to reduce 'collateral damage'; was it not 'humanly possible' to show their evidence to the Taleban and negotiate the capture of Bin Laden with the aid of the Taleban instead of against the Taleban?
Majid Malik
Birmingham


The US is justified in its anger and its demand for revenge/justice

Haris
I found both sides of the discussion frustrating. I think the language used by Richard Pearle was offensive - how can someone who dismisses other people's point of view as 'nonsense' be in such a high position? He seemed to 'block' the point of the whole discussion in his closing words. Very frustrating. But the way in which the Islamabad side denied the suppressive forces within their own culture showed a complete lack of objectivity on their side. I don't know if the two cultures are so different - I think perhaps the problem lies in that they are too similar. Neither is willing to give.
Helena Kotkowska
London

The US is justified in its anger and its demand for revenge/justice. I can't blame them, they lost thousands upon thousands of innocent lives (collateral damage??). However, the US created this Frankenstein during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan when the CIA trained/aided Bin Laden and the US govt sponsored the Taleban. Had the US cleaned up their end of the chaos, we would have been talking about something else today.
Haris
UK

I am 20 years old and would like to say that I am disgusted by some of the arrogant and disrespectful comments made on the programme. People should respect others cultures.
Mevish Qureshi
Birmingham

The current "war" is wrong. We cannot dignify homicidal maniacs by declaring war on them. They should be hunted down as the criminals they are, tried & if found guilty punished. We cannot blame the Taleban for not handing over Bin Laden to the Americans who want him "Dead or Alive", as by our own criteria there is no way that he can have a fair trial.
Dennis MacDonald
Barnoldswick

As a Muslim born and bred in Britain, I have been exposed to all elements of a free society. I disagree with America's claims that Muslims are jealous of their way of life. The Americans have failed to convert me to their beliefs, despite shoving their filthy and immoral culture down my throat. America's double standards and hypocrisy has disgusted me and have illustrated this factor by fighting terrorism with terrorism.
Raz Nazir
London


Many Muslims around the world have reason to be angry at the US for many reasons

Zarene Malik
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:20-21) Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Romans 12:14) If George Bush and the US are Christians they would live by these extracts from the New Testament.
Dave
St. Albans

I would firstly like to congratulate the BBC and Panorama on a great show that portrayed the views of people around the world. I believe that many Muslims around the world have reason to be angry at the US for many reasons, for example, in Palestine. I quote from THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, "AMERICAN-MADE, F15S, AND F16, HAVE BEEN BOMBING and shelling Palestinian homes." I believe how can America expect the Arab countries to join a coalition against terrorism if it will not acknowledge and address the harm it has done to the Arabs.
Rameez Ebrahim
Twickenham

I cannot believe how arrogant Mr. Pearle was. It is precisely what epitomises the impression the Muslims have of the US.
Zarene Malik
Woking


A people that fail to learn from others are doomed to decline

Haroun Atallah
Watching both sides in the Clash of Cultures debate just goes to emphasise, shockingly, the deep lack of trust and hypocrisy on both sides especially with reference to the ridiculous issues arising out of the questions of arms proliferation and humanitarian aid. Why, for heavens sake, are not all countries talking about peace instead of spending money on arms? There is an unbelievable lack of trust on both sides of the argument. Somebody has to make the first move for true 'world peace' - however unpopular it may be for the peoples or governments concerned.
Bob Ashworth
Leeds

Far from being totally at odds with each other as the presenters wanted to portray what was said by participants in the debate from America and Pakistan, there was agreement on the following as far as I could tell: 1. That the terrorist crime that took place in America was just that, a crime. 2. That the perpetrators must be brought to justice. 3. That America has the right to bring those responsible to justice. The second matter I would like to comment on, is the supposed clash of civilisations between a Judeo Christian and Islamic civilisation, this is a load of nonsense in my opinion. The so called Judeo Christian civilisation of the West owes more in my opinion to the Islamic dominated civilisation that preceded it than it does to any other previous human civilisation. There is a single race of humans and at different times in history certain parts of the world flourish and develop more than others. None of the previous civilisations nor the current Western civilisation can claim to have developed all its achievements in isolation from those of previous civilisations. The current dominant Western civilisation is not perfect and can still benefit from experiences of people in other parts of the world. A people that fail to learn from others are doomed to decline.
Haroun Atallah
Birmingham

Bravo BBC! Excellent cross examination by David Dimbleby. There is no doubt that terrorism is a disease, which must be condemned and fought against at all levels. But Richard Pearle gave us a chilling message tonight: America is not interested to cure terrorism, but only to fight its symptoms. If this was Mr. Pearle's personal advice to the Pentagon, then he should be removed from his job but if there is a hidden agenda at work that Mr. Pearle is not privileged to discuss, that is a different matter. Mr Pearle's assertion at the end that America must fight the terrorists wherever they are, is far too simplistic an approach for a superpower. I cannot believe that the USA cannot fight terrorism at its root. The root of terrorism is not in the mountain caves of Afghanistan or the Palestinian refugee camps. These are mere symptoms. It appears that there is a long term plan to engage the world in an endless war against the symptoms instead of defeating this menace at roots.
Parviz
London

I've seen some daft programmes but surely this one takes the award! Whose idea was this and what did they hope to achieve? With just a handful of people in each studio are we expected to believe that each studio audience was anything other than a deliberately selected and concocted display of unanimity from either end of the argument. Are we supposed to be surprised at the result? The show achieved nothing other than to make mischief by airing shallow responses to banal questions. This whole affair is a deadly serious one for the whole world. It's about time TV journalism made its own "appropriate and measured" response with some grown up coverage.
Paul B
Oxfordshire

I think the USA's true objective is indeed to help put in place a reasonable government in Afghanistan, and is fully aware that this can only be achieved by negotiation. The bombing is simply a display of strength to keep the Americans happy with its own government in the short term. You see, there has not been any public discussion as to how the US systems could have been so weak as to allow so many planes to be misused in one day. An unforgivable failure by the US government to protect its own people.
John Hulin
Ealing

Excellent, innovative initiative to have such a programme as tonight's Panorama, Clash of Cultures. Although a lot of talking at cross purposes it showed a lot of where each sides problems lay. It was a wonderful idea, can we have more of this, this is such a help to understanding. This is what the BBC is best at. This is good use of the media. Thank-you.
Anon
Glastonbury


Who decides who and what is civilised and uncivilised?

Sophie Ahmed
The real clash of civilisations is between the small but growing number of fanatical WAHABBI Muslims and the vast majority of Muslims who hate them. The fanatics want to impose their narrow puritanical brand of wahabbi Islam on the rest whom they consider to be virtual non-Muslims. Unfortunately, these fanatics have latched on to genuine grievances that Muslims feel e.g. Palestinian situation, for their own ends. They also gain credibility by terrorism and the attendant publicity it inevitably brings. That is why these very people are the first to condemn all Muslim governments and have no state of their own - because Muslims don't want them or their brand of Islam. That is why these fanatics don't believe that there has been an Islamic state in all of Muslim history after the first four Caliphs. They are as despised by the majority of world Muslims as by the west who in spite of itself gives them a hearing, because it makes for great debate!
Mahmood
London

I was disgusted and amazed at the comments made by Richard Pearle on this evening's Panorama. His comments that the Pakistani response to American military action was pathetic is typical of the American Imperialist attitude. Quite clearly, despite futile assertions to the contrary, America does view this as a war against the "civilised" and so called "uncivilised" world. Who decides who and what is civilised and uncivilised? It certainly shouldn't be America who is regarded as not the rightful superpower of the world but the bully of the world. It is about time that America realised that the starting point for the eradication of global terrorism is a review of its own foreign policies. Bombing Afghanistan is not the solution and I am sure that there is much more to it than meets the eye. What is the real agenda here?
Sophie Ahmed
Birmingham

I think it is a shame that the US panel never got the point and that the Islamabad panel never expressed it clearly. The question is not if Osama Bin Laden is guilty or not but why, assuming he is guilty as the USA panel has done, they are supporting a war instead of an approach based on international law. They said they have done all that is 'humanly possible' to reduce 'collateral damage'; was it not 'humanly possible' to show their evidence to the Taleban and negotiate the capture of Bin Laden with the aid of the Taleban instead of against the Taleban? Would not it have avoided the soon-to-happen humanitarian catastrophe due to the food distribution problems? I think that this is a flaw in their discourse of moral superiority (without going as far as quoting things like the School of the Americas and other beauties), and this makes evident that they wanted to make a war, period. Even more, they are trying to divide the world in the ones that support Bin Laden and the ones that do not support Osama Bin Laden, but I think that USA is really going down the wrong path.
Eduardo Unda Sanzan
Southampton

Tonight's programme was a very interesting in this series. I feel it is very much required for US and UK to take as many Muslim countries into confidence before they start any further action. On one side Pakistan Government supports this American war on terrorists whereas majority of public are against US. So it clearly shows that Pakistani public and other moderate Muslims are in confusion.
Lakshman
Hounslow


It is blatantly obvious how America is using its dominance to achieve its own needs

Shahan
Is it not clear that from both the programme tonight and indeed the subsequent discussion on Edwina's show tonight that peoples' so called informed comment are hugely influenced by the governments involved in this debate. In Islamabad tonight the Muslims seemed poorly informed and in the USA the studio discussion resounded to the bells of the US government and its all too obedient press. Is it any surprise that there is so little understanding in this world when what people truly believe in whatever dispute is so much dictated by governments and their respective press. Who can think for themselves clearly today?
David Gillespie
Worcester

Make no mistake this is not a fight for WESTERN DEMOCRACY. For it is the US's extreme opportunistic and unjust policies that have bred such hostility. Bush is merely drumming up support by using this as an impetus for his so called 'war against terrorism'. Muslim populations want US troops out of the Arabian peninsula. It is blatantly obvious how America is using its dominance to achieve its own needs. My fear is Blair is risking British lives, as the Americans have always knowingly done. Thus the people have paid the price, not the government. Britons must understand these issues. If Bin Laden is guilty he should be tried by an Islamic court.
Shahan
Luton

What a great pity that Panorama missed the opportunity to show the actual 'global' picture as to whether or not Muslims around the globe think that we and America are prosecuting a war against Islam. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims are in near revolt in Yemen, and in Indonesia large scale demonstrations are taking place against this crusade (in the words of President Bush). Of course this is a war against Islam, as we shall the real objectives of the war cabinet become clearer globally.

I personally feel that it is also a war being prosecuted to dominate future control of the supply of oil from the Middle East and Asia in consideration that such resources have peaked and are now perceived to be in decline. If this is indeed the case, then we are in for a long and very hard protracted war. I sympathise with those who iterated in Islamabad that there has been no real evidence put forward confirming the guilt of those accused. It is most strange that one should be pronounced guilty without sufficient evidence. This flies in the face of our great British tradition of justice, innocent until proved guilty. I'm sorry but neither Robin Cook, Tony Blair nor anyone else have yet convinced me as an individual that this indeed is not a war against Muslims and by default a war against Islam.
Hassan Morrison
Swindon

As in WW2, it is necessary to decide on priorities. In my view, these should be: 1. To defeat the terrorists. 2. To deal with the underlying causes, i.e. ignorance and poverty. Therefore the policy should be first to continue the present military action in order to capture Osama bin Laden and put him and his associates on trial under UN auspices; secondly to provide more aid and education to people in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the third world; and thirdly ensure a political settlement in the Middle East by sponsoring a Palestinian state and providing a guarantee to both the new state and Israel against any aggression.
Prof.H.R.V.Arnstein
London


Tthere are many British Muslims like me who completely and unconditionally condemn the atrocity of 11 September

Chinar Yazici
Every Muslim boundary has been created by the Western Colonialist powers. None of the governments are representative of the Muslim peoples, who are sick of these oppressive regimes and of the interference of the west. We are all one people, and it is only a matter of time before we unite. The attacks on Afghanistan and Israel's brutality will lead to the overthrow of The Saudi, Egyptian and Pakistani oppressive regimes. So I thank the Americans and the West.
Dr Gulfam Baloch
Newcastle

I come from a Muslim background and would like to disassociate myself completely from the likes of Bin Laden. He may have become a hero in the eyes of some Muslims but not certainly in mine. I would like to assure people that there are many British Muslims like me who completely and unconditionally condemn the atrocity of 11 September. It is unfortunate that an extremist like him today is waving the flag for the just cause of the Palestinians and claiming to represent the religion of Islam. However, was it not almost inevitable that after decades of ignorance in the West of the problems that have faced the Muslim peoples of the Middle East that somebody like him would turn up? Despite all its historical sins and mistakes though, I am proud to be a citizen of the tolerant and plural Western democracy. The very fact that the Pakistani Muslims have been allowed to express their views so freely tonight on Panorama is a testament to the virtues of the secular Western democracy.
Chinar Yazici
Hampshire

I am 12 years old, but I am disgusted by some of the comments made, especially those about the 'ignorance' of people speaking in Panorama from Islamabad. People in Pakistan are not ignorant, they know what is going on in the world. Another point I would like to make is that of America's suggested war against terrorism, it is against Muslims. You never see people saying 'Irish terrorists' or 'Jewish terrorists' just Muslim ones.
Sanaa
Birmingham


Where we are born is just a matter of chance

Helen
I was amazed at the lack of condemnation from Islamabad and I would say that most of their comments were an insult to America. They refuse to believe that the war is against terrorism and not Muslims and it doesn't matter how much this fact is repeated. They are calling the West liars and their whole concern is that the rest of the world considers the feelings of Muslims at this time. Amazing, when 5,000 to 6,000 have died in Manhattan. To be so self obsessed after such wickedness is unbelievable. As for Osama bin Laden and his Quaeda force not being guilty, as they all seemed to think, the man himself has not denied that he was involved. He could deny it. All we hear from him is more threats to the West and this doesn't sound like an innocent man. The NATO leaders have all seen the evidence that he was involved. Are they all liars too? As for civilians being targeted, they know this is incorrect. An unfortunate accident is not a target. I think also it ought to be stressed that there are at least 100,000 in the Taleban and more being recruited. It is not a case of a war against a small group, there are thousands of them and I don't think people realise this and more needs to be said about the strength of the Taleban. I agree with Richard Perle, who must have found the comments hardly credible.
Audrey
Cardiff

Congratulations BBC for this good idea of organising a "global" debate. I agree that all life should be equally valued. I get the impression, due to our media coverage, that when an American dies it is a tragedy, but when an Afghanistan civilian dies it is an unfortunate war mistake. Where we are born is just a matter of chance.
Helen
Luton
This was not a clash of cultures, but as usual an IQ clash. The US won this discussion hands down, and then to hear more drivel merchants like Galloway on R5 being allowed to display their ignorance just goes to prove how right the US are.
Simon
Sutton, Surrey

As an Afghani it was ironic to see that the two main guilty parties in this entire affair, America represented by Richard Pearle and an Ex-Pakistani official, fighting over who was responsible for this mess. I blame both, American for washing their hand of Afghanistan after collapse of USSR (Afghan war accelerate that process) and Pakistanis for creating Taleban for security of their own borders and controlling Afghanistan by proxy.
Hamid
London

The battle for hearts and minds will be lost if people fail to understand that this is not "Islamic Terrorism" - if it is portrayed this way, it is indeed a war on Islam. This is terrorism pure and simple - the media has a responsibility to say this, if they do not - we cannot move on. The only thing which separates people in the west and people in the east is geography and in some cases belief. Why does justice in America seem to stop outside the borders of United States?
Abdul Hameed Gamiet
Slough

I keep on hearing that Islam is a peaceful religion! Shall I quote the Koran? It CONTAINS text Verses that incite Violence. Have most Muslims read the entirety of the Koran? I am sure even they would be surprise what it contains.
Andy
Folkestone


Islam is a religion of peace

Sala
I feel we have missed a great opportunity to show the world what it means to living in a civilised world. These terrorist acts should have been treated as wars against humanity and the culprits brought to international justice, just like Slobodan Milosevic. No matter how we dress up the "War Against Terrorism", popular perception is that these attacks on Afghanistan are simple acts of revenge and retaliation. Another missed opportunity.
Ravinder
Huddersfield

Islam is a religion of peace and it's so deep that's why some Muslims cannot bear seeing those atrocities incurred to Muslim nations such as Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya etc and they do react in such way of revenge. Terrorism is the roots of all evils implemented by Israeli. USA has to revise their foreign policy and stop supporting the Israeli.
Sala
London

The programme tonight revealed differences - it requires a much longer time for understanding of each other's differences.
Alan Rigg
Chester-le-Street

The members of the Pakistani audience are so ignorant. The US made exhaustive investigations into who was responsible for the September 11 attacks and gave the Taleban ample opportunity to hand over Bin Laden. They didn't want to investigate themselves, or hand over the guilty party, so, they have to suffer the consequences until they see sense. And they do still have a second chance.
Jay
UK

America must learn that their unnerving arrogance and ignorance of the world and its people's does not win the hearts and minds of those who doubt their motives.
Peter Thompson
Worthing, Sussex


I believe America has reaped what it has sowed

Michael
After hearing the Panorama debate, and listening to Richard Pearle and the American audience it is clear that Americans are an arrogant and imperialist nation, they want to remain the super power of the world at any cost and to control oil and gas of middle east and Asia. Yes our cultures are different but we want to stop terrorism in the world. The main resentment of the Muslims is the soft policy towards Israel. The terrorism of Israelis against the Palestinians must be stopped in order to have peace amongst all religions.
Ahmed Raza
Reading

I believe America has reaped what it has sowed. It is not the home of democracy it is the home of hypocrisy. I am against war of all kinds and in my eyes America is just as bad as any terrorists. They dominate through wealth and military might. I have always been taught that violence solves nothing so why is America trying to convince me now that it does?
Michael
London

I live in the centre of the United Kingdom and in the very centre of the local substantial Muslim population. I have lived and worked here for many years, my friends and work colleges are both British and Muslim; we are all worried as to where this is taking us all. And we fear for the long-term future of our community. EXTREMISTS ON both sides of the local communities will take this further than we can even begin to imagine.
Mark
Leicester

Why does the BBC give a world platform to Richard Perle? His dangerously confrontational views will have been seen globally as the official voice of the American government, whereas he is a relatively minor player. He is transparently prejudiced against Muslims and he turns moderate Muslims against the West by his rhetoric. The BBC, I think, is playing with fire.
Michelle Pearce
London


The richest country in the world attacking one of the poorest smacks of a playground bully

Mary-Rose
I have listened to the discussion tonight with a sense of helplessness, along, I'm sure with the majority of ordinary citizens in the UK. Tony Blair has pledged our support (shoulder to shoulder with the USA) without consulting any of the electorate. I wonder what words of re-assurance he can offer people like us who live next to a nuclear weapons establishment, who have to live daily with the possible consequences of his support for President Bush. Does the support of our tiny nation make that much difference to the end result of the 'war'? If the worst happens we all know that the government who make the decisions for us will probably be safe, unlike people like us who are wide open to the consequences of their decisions. Fair enough we elected them but we weren't to know what would be asked of them on our behalf. I have no idea what the answer is but I just wish it didn't involve us innocent civilians or those innocent civilians in any other country.
Sue Herridge
Tadley

I feel depressed at the lack of compassion shown towards the innocent Afghan victims of the US attacks. The richest country in the world attacking one of the poorest smacks of a playground bully. If the US does succeed in killing Bin Laden they will be creating a martyr, a focus for future terrorists. Mention was made of "seeking out all terrorists, everywhere" - a task not only impossible to carry out but also impossible to define, as one man's terrorist is another man's hero. I feel huge sympathy with the victims of September 11th's terrorism, but more slaughter of innocents will not bring those lives back.
Mary-Rose
Milton Keynes

I am not surprised to hear the views of the Pakistani studio audience. It seems to me to reflect the general feeling of frustration and impotence throughout the Arab/Muslim world about their place in the world order, as compared to American dominance in almost all fields of human endeavour and its support for Israel. In a sense I think they see the events of Sept 11 as a case of an arrogant and smug superpower getting her comeuppance. It is however shocking to see well educated and intelligent individuals blaming America for all the problems in the middle east and the Islamic world instead of giving some thought to the role their selfish leaders have played and continue to play in keeping them socially and economically backward.
Anthony Ogunfeibo
London

I would just like to make the comment that if this war isn't against Islam then how come America and the UK is only going after the Muslims and how come there is no mention of the non-Muslim terrorist organisation, for example IRA or ETA to name a couple?
Abdul Haseeb
Manchester

The comments that the U.S. lost lives in Somalia show how ignorant the Americans and some allies are. Pakistan lost 26 of its soldiers fighting alongside the U.S. in Somalia. The comments of the American from the Pentagon were a clear indication to the world of how arrogant and ignorant, to the outside world, the U.S. and most of its people are.
Jed
Burnley

An explanation as to why the trade centre was bombed does not necessarily mean support of the act. Every decent human being condemns that attack wholeheartedly innocent people. In the same way that every decent human being condemns the killing of innocent Afghan people. To add insult to injury the West calls the dead Afghans collateral damage and the dead Americans innocent civilians.
Tanya Shah
Woking


It is apparent that there exists a common purpose of people of all faiths to combat terrorism around the world

Kamran Choudhry
It is very sad that at the eve of a totally new century when man has made such "technological" advancements, we have in actual effect regressed as a human species to a position where we see polarizations such as the one tonight where totally misguided people from Islamabad to the States (including politicians) who have forgotten the truth about being a human being. It is in this light that I would ask all those people in position to answer what help they would give me to answer my 14 year (British) son who asks me whether being a Muslim in the world today is going to be similar to that of being a Jew in Tudor England, nazi Germany and Alabama in the 60's? Can anyone help here since many of our family and friends have been attacked, including a blind Muslim woman!
Zena

As a Muslim myself I believe that every person would rightly condemn the terrorist actions that occurred on September 11th. And it is apparent that there exists a common purpose of people of all faiths to combat terrorism around the world. Where disagreement seems to set in, however, is not in our common purpose, but in the means we employ to achieve that purpose. It is this, if anything that needs to be addressed.
Kamran Choudhry
London

I was very disturbed at the way that this programme was handled in favour of America. However, why does no-one ask the Pakistani population who are so against the attacks, what they would propose to do with the terrorist training camps etc.?
Andrew
Cardiff

Astonishing how arrogant US 'folks' are!
Andrew Hodge
Kent

I am continually annoyed by the anti-American rhetoric that I hear many espousing. No matter hoow many times President Bush and Prime Minister Blair call this, not a war against Islam, but one against terrorism, there are some who are arrogant, or maybe ignorant, enough to ignore this. As allies, the US and UK have continually assisted Muslims, and this continues today in Iraq with the no-fly zone patrols. This is a time to be as one and rid the world of evil individuals like Osama Bin Laden. Let's not pander to those on the left who believe we can speak to people like Bin Laden. Those who are intelligent enough to understand know this is not possible.
Simon Bull
Portsmouth

I have to agree with Richard Perle, US troops lost lives in Somalia because they hesitated to fire when Somali gunmen used civilians as human shields. More will lose their lives than would have done in this war because the US does care about civilians and does all that is humanly possible to avoid injuring or killing them. So far I've seen only 2 Muslims who have not supported Bin Laden, both women. This is not war against Islam, it just appears that it is because all of the terrorists involved are Muslims and most of Islam seems to support them.
John
UK

The US panel prove undoubtedly that the US people are blind to World Politics and quite rightly, insular. This 'new' war has been active for years. It is about the oil channels through the 'Stani' region in Central Asia. It is about aggression around the Arab area for the resources. The Western, 'civilised' world has strived for control of that area in the past and failed. Now, that Washington has given US citizens a voice, it must now EDUCATE them.
Mr Wittak
Telford

It is a war against Islam, innocent Muslims are getting killed on the ground. Would the UK do this to the Irish after being bombed by their terrorists? If the evidence is so compelling against Bin Laden then why aren't we allowed to see it?
Abdullah
London


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