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Losing Arab Hearts and Minds: The Coalition, Al-Jazeera and Muslim Public Opinion

Edited By: Steve Tatham
Publisher: Hurst
Date of Publication: Jun 2009
Publications Categories: Book Reviews


Abstract: Steve Tatham’s book starts with the observation that the 9/11 attacks horrified not only western citizens but also moderate Muslims around the world. Consequently, an unexpected degree of solidarity appeared to flicker in the international community. In the aftermath of 9/11, there was wide condemnation of Al-Qaeda acts, and a majority of those polled had a favorable sentiment towards the United States and all that it stood for. Yet within two years the pain and distress of that event and the unifying sympathy it elicited throughout most of the world was squandered – not necessarily through the invasion of Afghanistan, but through the subsequent war in Iraq which many of the closest friends of the United States did not support. Tatham argues that having largely lost international support, the United States failed to get its justification and messages across to skeptical international audiences, particularly in the Arab world. The massive efforts of the Coalition’s covert information operation – the leaflets and radio broadcasts, the text messages and e-mails – were only partly effective in the absence of honest and transparent engagement with the region’s media...

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