DEFYING STEREOTYPES: Journalists often start their reporting with a thesis, or a concept of what they think is happening. Then, they adjust or discard the thesis based on their reporting. For today's story (page 7), the Monitor's Scott Baldauf expected to find students at the Pakistani madrassah (religious school) to be ardent supporters of a jihad against Western values. That's what he'd found in other madrassahs. Instead, the school defied the stereotypes. "It was like any high school in America. Students wore well-pressed clothes and talked about careers in biology."
The other initial surprise was how rushed the school principal seemed to be. "He kept asking if that was all we needed - after just five minutes." Later, Scott discovered the principal had two foreign TV crews waiting in his office. "It's a measure of how little is going on at the moment. You have 1,500 or so journalists here, all trying to do the same news features until the fighting breaks out."
- David Clark Scott
EUROPE On COUNTER-TERRORISM: One survey shows that 75 percent of French people say that US foreign policy bears a responsibility for the rise in Islamic extremism. And 51 percent say France should keep its distance from US policies, reports Agence France Presse. But another survey shows 63 percent were "favorable" to France participating in any US military action.
In Germany, some states have reintroduced profiling - checking visas, credit cards, and airline passenger lists. A survey by Spiegel magazine found that 74 percent of Germans are willing to accept restrictions on their personal freedoms to combat terrorist threats.
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