Muslims offer mixed views on Hamas, Hezbollah, reject al Qaeda
December 3rd, 2010
12:07 PM ET

Muslims offer mixed views on Hamas, Hezbollah, reject al Qaeda

Editor's Note: This report comes from the CNN Wires desk.

Muslims in many parts of the Islamic world overwhelmingly reject al Qaeda, support a large role for their faith in government and believe democracy is preferable to any other kind of political structure, according to a new survey released by Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project.

The study also found falling support for suicide bombings, as well as mixed attitudes towards Hamas and Hezbollah, Islamic groups designated as terrorist organizations by Western governments but which operate extensive social services networks in parts of the Muslim world.

The survey, conducted this spring in Jordan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan and Turkey, found that only in Nigeria did Muslim populations have anything approaching a favorable view of al Qaeda, with 49 percent expressing positive views and 34 percent holding an unfavorable opinion.

At least seven in 10 Muslims had unfavorable views of the group in Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon, as did lesser majorities in Jordan and Indonesia, according to the study.

But views of Hamas and Hezbollah were more mixed. Both groups got favorable ratings from a majority of Jordanian Muslims, with 60 percent supporting Hamas and 55 percent holding favorable views of Hezbollah, Pew reported.

Hezbollah received a narrow 52 percent favorable rating in its home base of Lebanon. But that slim majority belies deep divisions across Islamic sects in Lebanon, with 94 percent of Shia supporting Hezbollah and 84 percent of Sunnis looking on the group unfavorably.

Muslims in every nation but Turkey expressed a positive feeling about Islam's influence in their nation's politics. More than nine in 10 Indonesian Muslims said its influence is positive, as did more than eight in 10 Egyptian and Nigerian Muslims. In Jordan, 76 percent of Muslims approved of Islam's influence, as did 69 percent in Pakistan and 58 percent in Lebanon.

In Turkey, 38 percent had a positive opinion of Islam's influence in political life.

At the same time, majorities of Muslims in every country but Turkey said they were concerned about Islamic extremism in the world and their own countries.

Democracy was favored by a majority of Muslims in every country but Pakistan, although even there it received the largest share of responses. Lebanese Muslims were most favorable toward democracy, followed by those in Turkey, Jordan, Nigeria, Indonesia and Egypt.

Support for suicide bombing had also fallen by double digits since 2002 in every country except Turkey, where it was never well-received among Muslims, according to the study.

The survey also found support for gender segregation in the workplace in Pakistan, Egypt and Jordan and positive views of harsh punishments for various crimes in Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan.

The survey was conducted April 12 to May 7. In each of the countries except Pakistan, the sample was nationwide with a 4 percentage point sampling error. In Pakistan, respondents were predominantly urban and the sampling error was 3 percentage points.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Muslim

soundoff (325 Responses)
  1. Anton

    I am totally in favor of liimting the amount of children we all can have. Why? Because by liimting only the muslims, the motion will not pass legal muster. As a result, the muslims will continue to outbreed us and therefore subjugate us by sheer numbers.In order to prevent this from happening, any legal measure would have to be applicable to all. And let's face it. The number of Christian women who have more than 2 kids is small. In Europe, the birthrate is negative anyway, meaning under 2.0. So for most people, it will have no impact on their family plans.For those that want to have more than 2.0 kids, and will fight for islamic rights to do the same, I say you are traitor to your Christianity and a traitor in the fight against islam.Having more than 2.0 children is NOT the most important consideration in this life. Far from it. In fact, it is irresponsible on a global scale. Fighting the unholy black pall of islam, a fight that would be won with such a policy, should be the only thing that matters.For those that will not support such a measure, you are not soldiers against islam. You are part of the problem. Your heart is not in the battle. You are not prepared to sacrifice a bit to save your Christian civilization from the islamic hordes. Shame on you.Deportation of muslims will not work legally. But a 2 child policy, applicable to all, will pass the race card test, and can not be defeated on such grounds, the very grounds upon which all such defences of islam will be mounted in the courts. It is a clever way to stop islam from taking us over. If you want to live in a country where people can breed at whatever rate they want, go live in an islamic hellhole. Unregulated birth rates have made those countries as unliveable as sharia law. Catholics take note. You are either with us or against us. If your unregulated breeding rights are paramount to defeating islam, you are part of the problem that Fjordman takes about. Take sides. And I have a feeling many of you will happily side with islam.

    March 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
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About this blog

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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.