Since the election of President Trump, the world has witnessed shifts in U.S. policy towards both Syria and Muslim migrants. In his first few months in office, Trump has ordered airstrikes against the Syrian government and fought repeatedly to implement a travel ban that many see as a “Muslim ban.” Meanwhile, domestic political lines seem as sharply drawn now as before the election. How are Americans across the political spectrum evaluating the Trump administration’s policies towards the Middle East and Muslim communities?
On May 11, the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings launched a new public opinion poll, by Nonresident Senior Fellow Shibley Telhami, focusing on American attitudes towards the travel ban, the recent U.S. airstrikes against Syria, and the U.S. refugee policy. This data also provides trend lines on American attitudes towards Islam and Muslims, and whether these opinions have changed since the election.
Telhami was joined in discussion by Shadi Hamid, senior fellow in the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and Karen DeYoung, Senior National Security Correspondent and Associate Editor at the Washington Post. Tamara Cofman Wittes, senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy, provided introductory remarks and moderated the panel.
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There are areas where the French/American cooperation can be strong and immediate, especially when they share a common, precise goal like in the small, punitive strikes on Syria. But overall they won't have the same approach on a number of things.