I heard a story yesterday on NPR's All Things considered that made me start thinking about what persuades people to have a certain viewpoint about things.
In Jordan, the bombings have forced the people (who in large part have supported suicide bombings as a form of resistence in Iraq and Israel) to rethink how they classify suicide bombings. You can listen to the segment by clicking on the link below:
All Things Considered, November 15, 2005 · Jordanians have roundly condemned suicide bombings in Amman carried out by Iraqi insurgents loyal to Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi last week. But most Jordanians say they continue to support Iraqi resistance to U.S. occupation.
So now Jordanians have to differintiate between good and bad suicide bombings. The good bombings are people resisiting an “occupying” force, and the bad ones take this reisitence to the wrong places, harming other Arabs and Muslims.
It reminds me of the book “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. In the book, he examines the idea of critical mass. I wonder if, or how, the bombings will change Jordanian sentiment toward the jihad? The protests in the street after the bombings and the vitriolic diatribes against theJordaniam-born al-Zarqawi show a change of heart.
After 9-11, the US public reached a sort of “critical mass” in sentiment that lead to the “War on Terrorism.” Of course, that is now being re-thought, or at least as it pertains to Irag. Today's headlines prove that, Senate Seeks Exit Strategy.
This should be an interesting case study for communicators about how events shape the public sentiment and what causes a mass change in opinion.