Survey: Muslims support use of force to stop nuke proliferation

But 59% in PA say UN shouldn't authorize military action to prevent countries from acquiring nukes.

UN general council 298.8 (photo credit: Courtesy)
UN general council 298.8
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A majority of respondents in several predominantly Muslim countries believe the UN Security Council should have the right to authorize military force to prevent a country that does not have nuclear weapons from acquiring them, or to prevent the production of nuclear fuel that could be used to manufacture weapons. According to poll results released Wednesday by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, two-thirds of respondents in Azerbaijan, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey approved of the UN using force to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. People interviewed in the Palestinian Authority disagreed, with 59 percent telling interviewers the UN should not be allowed to authorize military action to prevent a country from acquiring such weapons. The data comes from a series of surveys on attitudes toward the UN conducted in seven predominantly Muslim nations or regions from December 2006 through August of this year. The data reveal a split about whether it would be positive for the UN to become more powerful in world affairs, with 70% of Iranians saying greater UN power would be mainly positive while only 13% of those in the Palestinian Authority agreed. Palestinians, in particular, indicated discontent with the UN's effectiveness, with 74% of people in the territories saying the international body had not helped in the conflict with Israel. A majority - 64% - felt the UN had not been effective in handling peacekeeping operations, and 54% said the organization had not been helpful in dispensing humanitarian aid. Nearly two-thirds of Palestinians interviewed in August said the US controlled the UN and could make the organization do what it wanted. Sixty-eight percent of respondents in Egypt and 59% of those in Jordan agreed. Researchers also conducted face-to-face interviews on some questions in Iran, where a majority supported giving the UN authority to maintain a standing peacekeeping force and to authorize the use of military force to investigate human rights violations. Some 62% of Iranians favor a standing UN peacekeeping force. Slightly fewer - 59% - believe the Security Council has the responsibility to authorize unilateral military force against governments that commit genocide.