On a number of occasions, I’ve heard people talking about how the Muslim world is sympathetic to the cause of extremest militant groups like the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
Well, the Pew Research Center recently carried out a study on the global attitudes towards Islamic extremism.
The study (which was carried out between April and May, before the rise of the new terrorist group ISIS) polled 14,000 respondents from 14 different predominantly-Muslim countries. The researchers found that,
“Concern about Islamic extremism is high among countries with substantial Muslim populations.”
Pew also found that people living in the Middle East have become increasingly concerned about Islamic extremism in their countries since last year:
Despite Hezbollah’s popularity in Lebanon, people don’t typically have a favorable opinion of the extremist groups based in their country. The study found that nearly 60% of Pakistanis have an unfavorable opinion of the Taliban and almost 80% of Nigerians have an unfavorable opinion of Boko-Haram.
The study also showed that sentiment about Al-Qaeda is consistently negative. Lebanon had the most unfavorable opinion of the group, a view shared by Christians and Muslims alike in the country:
Pew also did a breakdown of Muslims’ view on suicide bombing (in Lebanon they broke the numbers down by the respondent’s sect of Islam):
While some of these numbers are disconcertingly high, Pew also showed that support for suicide bombing appears to be decreasing over time:
Read the full report and check out the rest of the data from the Pew Research Center here.