A poll of Egyptians has dealt U.S. President Barack Obama a virtual slap in the face several weeks after he backed the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Thirty nine percent of those polled consider the United States as having had a negative political impact on Egypt, while 54 percent want to break the peace treaty with Israel, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.
Egypt under Mubarak maintained an increasingly “cold peace” with Israel, but the provisional military government is known to hold more blunt anti-Israel views. Last week, prosecutors ordered an investigation of the agreement to sell natural gas to Israel.
President Obama, hesitated for several days after the Mubarak regime gunned down peaceful demonstrators calling for an end to his rule, and then pulled the political rug from under his feet, despite Egypt's being the closest American ally outside of Israel in the Middle East.
His "reaching out to Muslims” speech in Cairo two years ago and his backing of the protest movement this year did not succeed in winning him any favors. A whopping 79 percent of respondents in the Pew survey retained an unfavorable view of the United States, similar to the results in a poll last year.
The poll also revealed that 62 percent – nearly two-thirds – want Egyptian laws to “strictly follow the Quran.” The poll also added additional evidence that contradicts the myth that support for extremist Islam comes from the poorer sector of society. The upper income groups showed the largest support for fundamentalist Islam in the poll, while the lower income group was the weakest in its support.
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