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Humanitarian Aid Changes Muslim Minds

According to a poll conducted in January 2006 by the Terror Free Tomorrow organization, humanitarian aid is a very effective way to improve how Muslim countries view the United States of America.

In May of 2003, research indicated that only 15 percent of people in Indonesia—the world's most populous Muslim nation—had a favorable view of the U.S. However, the country was later devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami, which struck in December of 2004. In the year that followed, humanitarian aid poured into the affected areas from the U.S. and other Western nations.

As a result, a January 2006 poll showed that Indonesian people with a favorable view of the U.S. had nearly tripled, jumping to 44 percent. In addition, information from the well-respected Indonesian Survey Institute showed that "support for Bin Laden and terrorism has dropped to its lowest level since 9/11." Finally, the ISI reported that Indonesians with a "very unfavorable" view of the U.S. had fallen to just 13 percent—down from 48 percent prior to the tsunami.

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