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May 1st, 2012
01:37 AM ET

Poll: Many Muslims in Mideast, Pakistan have poor view of al Qaeda

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) – Most Muslims in several key Middle Eastern and Asian countries hold negative views of the terrorist network al Qaeda a year after U.S. forces killed its leader Osama bin Laden, according to a recent survey.

The poll by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project, released Monday, found that a high proportion - between 71% and 98% - of Muslims questioned in Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon viewed al Qaeda in an unfavorable way.

In Pakistan, where U.S. Navy SEALS killed the al Qaeda leader during a raid on a compound a year ago, 55% of the Muslims surveyed had a negative opinion of the terrorist group, according to the poll. Only 13% had a favorable view.

The United States has used controversial drone strikes in tribal areas of Pakistan to try to dismantle al Qaeda's infrastructure in areas of Pakistan.

In May 2011, an elite team of Navy SEALs flew two helicopters into Abbottabad, Pakistan, where bin Laden was living in a three-story compound with approximately two dozen people, including his relatives.

The killing of bin Laden in that raid prompted uproar in Pakistan. The blatant violation of the country's national sovereignty embarrassed the civilian government and especially the military, which has a prestigious military academy in Abbottabad.

The drone strikes, the raid and airstrikes by NATO forces in November that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers near the border with Afghanistan have soured relations between Islamabad and Washington.

But they do not appear to have created a high level of support for al Qaeda in Pakistan, according to the Pew survey.

Sympathy for the terrorist group appears to be stronger in Egypt, the poll's findings suggest. Twenty-one percent of the Muslims questioned there had a favorable view of al Qaeda, while 71% had an unfavorable one.

The second highest level of positive opinions of the terrorist network among the countries surveyed was found in Jordan, where 15% viewed al Qaeda favorably and 77% viewed it unfavorably.

Muslims polled in Turkey and Lebanon were much less likely to see the extremist organization in a positive light. Only 6% in Turkey and 2% in Lebanon viewed it favorably.

In Lebanon, 98% of those questioned held a negative opinion of al Qaeda. The number in Turkey was 73%.

The survey's results were based on face-to-face interviews with 1,000 adults in each of Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon between March 19 and April 10. In Turkey, 1,001 adults were surveyed in person between March 20 and April 11.

A total of 1,206 adults were interviewed face-to-face in Pakistan between March 28 and April 13.

The Pew Research Center noted that the question about views toward al Qaeda was asked at a later point in the interview in Pakistan than in the other four countries.

- CNN's Laura Koran

Filed under: Islam • Middle East • Pakistan

soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Reality

    Poll: Many Muslims in Mideast, Pakistan have poor view of al Qaeda- That might be so, but it does not change the following:

    Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

    This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

    And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

    Current crises:

    The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Eric

      And we all know that there have never been any illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Republicans so you must be right.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Reality

      Hmmm, anyone remember Bill Clinton?

      May 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  2. The_Mick

    Even the records found with bin Laden show he was considering renaming the organization because al Qaeda had created a bad reputation among Muslims. Unfortunately, whatever the name, there are too many who want to promote terrorism and too many politicians who want to scare the populace into thinking it's more dangerous than it is. al Qaeda in a century won't kill as many Americans as die in month on our nations roadways in accidents.

    May 1, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  3. Mike Blackadder

    Al Qaeda figured their best chance of defeating the US was to generate a high body count to pressure the US into pulling their troops. The easiest targets were innocent Iraqis. Most Muslim folks didn't like that. It suffices to say Al Qaeda's strategy failed miserably.

    May 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  4. Mike Blackadder

    I'm not surprised. These numbers don't look much different from polls in 2007.

    May 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  5. Everett Wallace

    The polls survey should be done like a census 100% of the muslims and then you will have the true number. I don't get it, you pray to the same "god" the same amount of times a day and facing the same direction help me understand the division or should I say separation between the muslims support of each others belief. Just like the other religions same rituals go to church on saturday or sunday and pray have communions read bibles, pass the "peace" who are they worshipping. Me, I read the Holy Bible, do not go to church have no religion or denomination affiliation, I Trust GOD THE FATHER GOD THE SON GOD THE HOLYSPIRIT and I have Seen the Unseen GOD the FATHER, somethings just not right, I do not know what it is.

    May 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
  6. CW ANDERSON

    Just another old sailor stating that you may want to buy a boat and forget about the hate factor as I see it we will all be fish food soon without a float boat the sea will soon be at your door and much sooner than you think it's getting hot !

    May 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • geeky

      There's this thing it's called punctuation you should use it to make your communications clearer and then everyone will understand what you're saying and not be confused by your lack of punctuation and run on sentences in your posts which probably make sense to you.

      May 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  7. ja-coffalotte

    They all cheered on 9-11, EFF ALL of 'em

    May 1, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • The Mendicant Bias

      Lol, no they didn't. Please don't reproduce and embed your idiocy in the human gene pool. kthx

      May 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
    • Angela Birch

      No they didn't. You are incredibly ignorant. I bet you don"t even give credit to NY firement who ran into the buildings to save lives and were killed because some of them were muslim.
      Any intelligent person knows that ALL is never true.

      May 1, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  8. David

    Bull. Have you ever seen an ad in the news paper, tv, blog by a Muslim cleric/IMAN condeming the terrorist? No, never. Why doesn't the Muslims in America speak out, afraid, agree with the terrorist, why?

    May 1, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Angela Birch

      Do a little more looking yes the blogs are out there. If you think all the wisdom in the world is contained in a blog.
      You might do a little reading, I would suggest you start with Ed Husain's The Islamist.

      May 1, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Chris R

      Actually yes, I've seen many. Perhaps you just aren't looking. Maybe you expect a small engraved note personally delivered directly to your door from every Muslim in the world saying "No, we don't support terrorism". Of course, even if that did happen you'd say thy were just lying to you.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  9. Muhammed = Fake prophet

    Muslims sees Hitler and Al-Queda as their heroes.... don't believe the BS you hear how 'peaceful' Muslims are.... they all hate non-Muslims (Especially Jews and Christians). Go to any Islamic country and you'll see how you get treated

    May 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Eric

      I bet I'd get treated a lot better by not calling Mohammed a fake prophet and condemning their religion.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • Chris R

      I've been to a few Islamic countries (Morocco, Indonesia, Turkey, Lebanon). I was treated very well by pretty much everyone I met. How many Islamic countries have you been to?

      May 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Muneef

      That's only proves that he did not move an inch out of his city or country to see the world...go back to your self made nightmares...

      May 2, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  10. Muneef

    Majority do not support any extremists whether you believe that or not but it is the fact...the question here is who made them and who supports them financially to become as strong...can tell you most of joins them not because they believe in the cause but rather for the money since unemployment,poverty levels are so high and the higher it becomes the stronger they become.. Who finance same are they oil rich countries or foreign Western countries through NGO's or Drugs and Piracy acts.. Only GOD know's why and for what this is happening since those set back any country they enter which makes some others happy since it effects markets,investments, supply and demand...most countries became richer after some other countries got effected by wars.. Who is benefiting from all this is the financier of these terrorist groups... But all you do is hitting with out any thinking as to who is the real enemy...!

    The Approaching Day has approached. 53:57
    Of it, [from those] besides Allah , there is no remover. 53:58

    May 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  11. Dean

    They let them run free in their countries. Tend to believe their actions over poll numbers.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  12. REALLY?

    Only 55% in Pakistan had a negative view? It is nice to know who your enemies are. Any one who does not have a negative view of al Qaeda is an enemy of the US and the free world.

    May 1, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Are you really that naive? Pakistan isn't our friend. They are a country to be controlled because of their location. The trouble is, that the US believes it has a better hold on the rest of the world than it really does.

      May 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  13. Not buying it

    Sure, sure...
    I'm not buying this one bit...
    If that were the case, all the leaders in this religion would be denouncing the terriorist acts being commited in the name of Islam, their silence speaks VOLUMES!!!!

    May 1, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
  14. Mike

    Muslims are mentally ill.

    May 1, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Muneef

      It must be the meat of the mad cow disease you been exporting to them...?

      May 1, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  15. J-Pap

    The thing with terrorism is you only need 1% to believe in them. The 1% that commits the act. If they are going to do a suicide attack what do they care if they have support.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  16. Liam

    You think they're going to tell you the truth over the phone? Of course not. I don't believe these numbers, I think at least 70% support AlQueda...

    May 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Haha, it's a vast Muslim conspiracy.

      And way to poll a stat out of your nethers! Good job.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • AJ

      How many phones are there in Afghanistan anyway???

      May 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Eric

      Nevermind that the article stated that "the survey's results were based on face-to-face interviews".

      May 2, 2012 at 2:02 am |
  17. JonfromLI

    I wonder what the poll would have been like BEFORE 9/11. This isn't newsworthy. Now if you were to tell us that a majority of Muslims are in favor of recognizing Israel as a Jewish State (something that was supposed to be acknowledged some 70 years ago), then I would really be impressed.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  18. paul

    Worse than CNN is that muslims are trained/encouraged/ordered to lie if it helps islam. Thus they'll pretend to hate OBL because it's more useful right now to pretend there are moderate muslims, but really support the idea of subjugating the world to their sad political ideology. Never trust a muslim.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  19. Karen Chang

    cnn manipulates numbers to make them say whatever they want the numbers to say, and takes no effort to instruct readers on sampling error and sampling bias. do not trust cnn. if you do, you are part of the problem. was there really any doubt that CNN would present the results as Muslims being unfavorable to al Qaeda? give me a break. this isn't news. it's propaganda. Get some integrity CNN.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  20. Karen Chang

    worthless poll. cnn sucks.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.