A Year After Bin Laden’s Death, Poll Finds Little Change in Muslims’ Views of Al-Qaeda (CNS) CYBERCAST NEWS SERVICE) By Patrick Goodenough 05/01/12)
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(CNSNews.com) – A new poll gauging Muslims’ views on al-Qaeda a year
after Osama bin Laden’s death shows small increases in support in
Turkey and Pakistan since the spring of 2011, but small declines in
support in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.
Overall, majorities of respondents in the five Islamic countries
surveyed by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project in
March and April expressed an unfavorable opinion of al-Qaeda,
although 21 percent in Egypt – representing one in five people in the
Arab world’s most populous country – held the contrary view.
Fifteen percent of respondents in Jordan, 13 percent in Pakistan, six
percent in Turkey and two percent in Lebanon also said they had a
favorable view of the terrorist organization.
Over the past year, al-Qaeda favorability increased in Turkey by two
percent and in Pakistan by three percent. Favorable opinion declined
since spring 2011 in Egypt by two percent, in Jordan by one percent
and in Lebanon by one percent.
Pew found the highest level of uncertainty in Pakistan, where almost
one-third of respondents either said they did not know or refused to
Before bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALS who raided
his safe house near the Pakistani capital, Pew pollsters found that
levels of “confidence” in the terrorist leader among Muslims had
declined steadily from 2003. Between 2010 and 2011, however, that
decline either flattened out or in some cases favorable opinions
began to climb slowly again – in Egypt and Pakistan by three points
and in Indonesia and Lebanon by one point each.
In 2011, 34 percent of Muslims in the Palestinian territories, 26
percent in Indonesia, 22 in Egypt, 21 in Pakistan, 13 in Jordan,
three in Turkey and one percent in Lebanon expressed “confidence” in
bin Laden. (Nigeria was not included in the 2011 poll, but in 2010,
48 percent of Nigerian Muslim respondents expressed “confidence” in
Another relevant issue polled over the past decade by Pew relates to
whether suicide bombing against civilian targets is justified “to
defend Islam from its enemies.”
In its spring 2011 survey, support for suicide bombings under those
circumstances – among Muslim respondents only – was expressed by 68
percent in Palestinian areas, 35 percent in Lebanon, 28 percent in
Egypt, 20 percent in Israel, 13 percent in Jordan, 10 percent in
Indonesia, seven percent in Turkey and five percent in Pakistan.
The biggest declines recorded by Pew in “confidence in bin Laden”
scores were in Indonesia between 2003 and 2005 (from 59 percent down
to 36), in Jordan between 2005 and 2006 (from 61 percent down to 24)
and in Pakistan between 2008 and 2009 (from 34 percent down to 18).
All three countries have themselves suffered from deadly terror
attacks carried out by al-Qaeda or affiliated groups, with Pakistan
particularly badly affected over the years since 2007. (copyright
1998-2012 Cybercast News Service 05/01/12)
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