A recent study by the World Public Opinion(WPO) organization revealed mixed feelings among Muslims throughout the world regarding the impact of globalization on their lives. A majority in most nations support the idea of becoming part of the international economy while at the same time fearing taking such action will negatively impact their own cultural and religious views. Steve Kull of WPO, notes, “In the process of economic globalization, Muslims are not separatists. Economic integration within the world they say is a positive thing, but they don’t want it to undermine cultural identify.” Of the 5,200 people surveyed in Muslim nations such as Pakistan or Egypt or Indonesia or in societies such as Nigeria which contains many Muslims, the majority opted for participation in the world economy.
The WPO survey reveals a common view among those who seek to retain their cultural and religious values, they want to be part of the world and they want to stay away from world trends toward cultural change. Muslims blame “western values,” but those changes most probably transcend a particular nation or area of the world. They are part of modernization regardless of which group fosters the process. It is the price of living in an international community.