Poll: Readers Pessimistic About Muslim PR Plan

By Scott Hogenson | July 7, 2008 | 8:20 PM EDT

( - A State Department plan to launch a new communications effort to improve relations with Muslims overseas isn't given much chance of succeeding in reducing the risk of terrorism, according to a poll of Cybercast News Service readers.

The online survey, which was conducted between Friday morning May 24 and Monday morning May 27, asked whether readers think "the U.S. outreach effort to Muslim countries help reduce the risk of terrorism."

According to the results of the informal poll, 88 percent of readers said the program would make no difference at all, while nine percent responded that the program would make only a little difference.

2,867 readers of the Internet newswire responded to the poll, which allows a single vote response from any given computer terminal. The survey is not considered scientific. It is based solely on the responses of readers and does not necessarily represent an empirical cross section of Americans.

Under Secretary of State Charlotte Beers said Thursday the U.S. is ready to launch a wide range of communication initiatives and exchanges with Muslim nations so the two cultures can develop a better understanding of each other's policies and values. (Read the story.)

Beers said the plan includes "four broad, strategic goals for public diplomacy for the Middle East and other Muslim peoples," including better articulation of U.S. policies and actions; informing Muslims of American values and beliefs; demonstrating the essential role of democracy for peace; and communicate America's support for education.

In the survey, two percent of respondents said they think the plan will help a lot in reducing terrorism in the U.S., while one percent said they think it will help a little.