A new poll of Muslim attitudes towards terrorism leaves some room for both optimism and pessimism.
The poll, like several others, finds an overall downward trend in the percentage of Muslims supporting terrorist organizations and their methods.
However, the minority is still large enough to make the hair stand on the back of your neck.
Some of the findings:
- Of the countries surveyed, the highest percentage supporting suicide bombings against civilians were the Palestinian Territories (68%), Nigeria (43%), and Lebanon (38%). In Lebanon, it was interesting to see that 51% of the Shiites supported the tactic, and only 25% of Sunnis support it. Generally, the Shiites have been more moderate and so this shows a strong extremist trend amongst Lebanese Shia, explaining Hezbollah’s strength here.
- Support for suicide bombings against civilians was the lowest in Egypt (15%), Indonesia (13%), Jordan (12%), Israeli Arab Muslims (7%), Pakistan (5%), and Turkey (4%).
The findings regarding the level of admiration for Bin Laden was also interesting. Keep in mind, many Muslims overseas do not believe he was behind 9/11, so those actions may be taken out of the equation for them:
The Pew survey also found although majorities in Nigeria (54 percent) and the Palestinian territories (52 percent) expressed “confidence in the al Qaeda leader [Osama bin Laden] to do the right thing regarding world affairs.”
In the other countries surveyed, the Saudi terrorist enjoyed the backing of 28 percent of respondents in Jordan, 25 percent in Indonesia, 23 percent in Egypt, 18 percent in Pakistan, 16 percent in Israel, four percent in Lebanon and two percent in Turkey.
The biggest drop in support for bin Laden was measured in Indonesia (down 34 points since 2003), Jordan (down 28 points) and Pakistan (down 28 points). The trend in Nigeria was in the opposite direction – up 10 points since 2003.
I’m a poll junkie, and if I have time, I’ll dive into the original poll results sheet for further analysis.
Source: World Threats