U.S. not worried about radical Islam's pull on votes

There were worries that the rise of anti-United States sentiment shown by recent public opinion surveys might translate into greater support for Muslim parties whose rhetoric is laced with criticism of the US and its policies. But U.S. experts now feel that this scenario is unlikely. They believe that the election result will be determined more by domestic matters than by foreign affairs and relations with the West.

Below are excerpts from the Straits Times piece. The piece is not reprinted in its entirety due to copyright reasons. Please visit the link below below to read the whole article. "...Said Indonesia specialist Donald K. Emmerson at the Institute for International Studies at California's Stanford University: 'My sense is that the election will be primarily about crime, stability, prices, not about religious issues.' Many Indonesia watchers in the U.S. have been surprised that Islam has not appeared to be a dominant factor in the campaign. Said Dr Emmerson: 'It's quite remarkable that in the Malaysian election religion was very important with respect to the PAS factor, but in Indonesia that is just not the case. And that is a huge relief to the US as it seeks to win the hearts and minds of moderate Muslims in the war against terrorism. ..."