'Ugly' Americans and 'Ugly' Muslims

A U.S. business group recently began an effort to change the “repugnant” image of the United States abroad. Before this attempt, the U.S. administration desperately tried and continues to try to improve its image in the world, which is the very measure of hatred. The president’s special envoy to prop-up America’s image, [Karen Hughes ], may be a kind and good lady, but we must conclude from the evidence that the work of the U.S. business group was far more effective than her attempts, which look more like someone preaching alone in the desert!

The reason for her abject failure is that she prefers to deal with the press by issuing press statements! The second reason for her abject failure is that she is trying to defend American policy rather than the image of American citizens; although it is fair to point out that these “American citizens” are the ones who freely elected these particular American policy makers. But the U.S. electoral process has become so complicated, it would be wrong to blame American citizens for the U.S. administration. Still, the strongest advantage of the U.S. electoral system is that it allows citizens who vote for a politician one day, to deny supporting him on another, after it turns out that the politician damaged America’s public image and abused the public trust.

What these attempts to improve America’s image show, is that America’s “atrocious” image has been created by the actual policies of the White House, not ordinary Americans. I personally believe that first, it is quite unfair to blame ordinary Americans, and second; we mustn’t overlook the fact that some U.S. policies are baffling outside the context of American culture.

As I always say, America is neither pure evil nor pure good; but it took me a lot of time and reasoning to figure this out. The best evidence for what I am saying is that the American way of life still attracts millions of people around the world, as evidenced by the fierce competition to win “Green Cards,” which allows the holder to live on American soil.

The facts show that there are “good and bad apples” in America, just like everywhere else in the world. But more importantly, what is the perception in the world, not only of Americans, but of Muslim and Arab nationals? Is Arabic and Islamic civil society aware – at least for utilitarian reasons – of the importance of waging a war to improve its image, just as the Americans are doing?!

This is the question that we need to answer.

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