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. splasher6

    now if they would just grow some balls and denounce them in public...

    December 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
    • minto

      and only if pro western media had some balls to put in the american news the millions of fatwas muslim scholars have written against al qaeda and terrorism. only if pro western and pro israeli media had the balls to report many muslim rallies that have taken place across the globe that denounce terrorism. ONLY IF THE WESTERN MEDIA HAD THE GUTS TO BROADCAST pictures of several muslims praying at 9/11 and 26/11 memorials for the victims of these unfortunate events. Only if there wasnt a veil on the americas minds and the media that keeps them away from the truth.

      December 3, 2010 at 8:31 pm |
    • .308

      @ minto

      tell me.. why wouldn't it be publicized ? Why would the press hold back something like that ? To what advantage ?

      December 3, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
    • minto

      i keep looking at these hundreds of youtube videos (that capture private events of jews and muslims celebrating their faiths together), news from the arab world or south asia (little events but very influential) but they never make it to the news. I dont know why? May be the western media things these are small news for a big broadcasting channel, but these are important. The media is just not for broadcasting news, it is also for getting citizens of the country together, citizens of the world together. And if they do so, they will named pro-islamic. I guess the reason is broadcasting networks are afraid of broadcasting something that would not appeal to their audience, or are afraid of being labelled as the greatest enemy of the country. Unless there is a abold step not only from muslims but also from media, the view of muslims would NEVER change in the minds of americans. THIS IS THE REASON WHY!

      December 3, 2010 at 9:03 pm |
    • .308

      @ minto

      " are afraid of being labelled as the greatest enemy of the country. Unless there is a abold step not only from muslims but also from media, the view of muslims would NEVER change in the minds of americans. THIS IS THE REASON WHY!"

      So, you're saying that the American media believes their viewing public hates Muslims? Really? The entire U.S. is "anti-muslim" so the networks ratings will dive if they show something as ... awkward... and .. questionable.. as peace? Ok, fine, how about the Canadian, European, and, god forbid.. Al Jazeera? Nobody want to show peace in action? So the entire world hates Muslims? Good grief. How awful. How about on the net? Any websites show these peaceful gatherings? Surely there's something on the net??

      December 3, 2010 at 9:19 pm |
    • .308

      @ minto

      And for the record.. No, sir. I do not 'hate' Muslims. I'm just damned sick of some of them blowing things and people up, and I continue to question why the 'moderate Muslims' aren't enlisting , en mass, in their respective nations' armed forces and flush these minority nutters out.

      In the 1800's the U.S. had problems in the 'wild west' with outlaws. Small western towns dealt with it by forming something called a 'posse.' Seems the scale has changed a bit, though.

      So, yeah... I'd be interested in seeing 'peaceful gatherings', protests, or anything remotely resembling what you're talking about. I'd also like to hear about mass enlistments in the various ME armies by volunteers willing to put more than a protest sign on the line to flush out the extremists.

      December 3, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
    • .308

      ok, well not everybody can enlist I suppose... I guess we'll give the poppy farmers and exception. Now, who else? Single parents.. got it. More? Last surviving sons.. good, we do that here, too. Let's see... anyone working in the mosques... no, sorry, that doesn't include all Muslims, sorry.. just Imams and their staff..

      There has to be a few more exceptions... what's that? How about anyone that doesn't want to? No, sorry. That kind of defeats the purpose of the whole thing, don't you think?

      December 3, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
    • .308

      ... but the Koran says that you don't have to fight if you don't want to? Really? Where's it say that? I'm sorry, I can't read Arabic... so I have to take your word for this? If you don't want to.. you can just..what, "pass?" Is there a word for that? Do you have to at least kill a goat or something? No? Oh, I see.. you're a peaceful Muslim. Don't even want any part of this 'putting down the extremists' business then, do you? But you definitely don't agree with what they're doing, right? Ok, but you're not fibbing to me now, are you? Sure? It's not fair, you know...

      Sure you don't want to fight, last chance? Koran says no, you told me that - But, can I see where it says that in a translated Koran? No? why not? I see... It doesn't say that in the English version.. just in Arabic.. oh, sorry, OLD Arabic.. So is that an OLD Arabic Koran? Whatt'ya mean, 'you're not sure?' Either you speak Old Arabic or not.. which is it?? What Imam? Why do I have to go see the Imam?

      December 3, 2010 at 10:08 pm |
  2. NM

    please check out http://www.islamicsolutions.com/do-they-even-know-what-islam-is/

    December 3, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
  3. minto

    i am so fed of this anti-muslim uproar. I sometimes feel like killing myself for just being born muslim or for loving my religion. But i guess the critics of muslims and islam will be like "oh he just wants sympathy". When i came to the west I HAD A DREAM. of a better life, of contributing to society, of making new friends, learning new cultures and living in a discrimination free society. I dreamt of a life where i balanced my religion with my social life. I dreamt like any other american youth of being accepted, hanging out with understanding friends, helping others understand my culture, participating in festivals of other faiths. THEN SOMEWHERE A BOMB BLOWS UP, and i dont have a life anymore, i am a foreigner in my country, i am being looked down at, i am being rejected from jobs just because my name reminds them of a bearded bandit somewhere in the middle east., my friends stop talking to me, i am left alone to rot for the rest of my life for just being muslim! Some guy would then say "oh if you are so fed up of our ways, then just go back to the desert where you came from". I WILL BIG GUY, I WILL. i dont think the there is even a tiny space in the hearts of westeners for muslims like me.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
    • .308

      @ minto

      Well, we all have to listen to our 'inner voice' I suppose.. after all, it usually knows best.

      December 3, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
    • DeAguaDulce

      If it's so bad, why not just go home?

      December 4, 2010 at 12:04 am |
    • Aanai

      Your situation is certainly difficult. And your should certainly not have to feel this way. But please realize that non-muslim minorities in muslim countries have a life that is much worse than yours and that is even when there are no bombs going off. Ever wonder how bad it must be to be a non-muslim living in Saudi, Pakistan, or Malaysia. Pehaps you should use your currrent experience as a starting point and try to help non-muslims living in such countries; that would be one way to turn something negative into a positive.

      December 4, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  4. puzzled

    This is a clear way of media changing the headlines for political correctness.

    The headline should say: in each muslims country, at least 30% support al qaeda, and in some countries even more.
    When will you be more reliable? 30% of a billion people is a lot of al qaeda support. The Nazis had less supporters in Germany.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  5. Muneef

    @Adrian-you say;
    Here look at this site http://www.myspear.org/ it is for the book "Living by the Point of my Spear" written by Zaki Ameen. An ex muslim and Imam.
    Read the book "Living by the Point of my Spear" it was written by Zaki Ameen. An ex muslim and Imam who spent years studying and preaching the Quran till he saw its evil. Here look at this site it is for the book.

    My say as Follow;
    Al-Tawba Sura 09:
    They seek to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths; and Allah refuseth to do otherwise than perfect His light, although the in-fidels may de-test. (32) He it is who hath sent His apostle with the guidance and the true religion that he may make it prevail over all religions, although the associators may de-test. (33).

    December 3, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
    • Muneef

      As-Saff Sura 61:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      And who is a greater wrong-doer than he who fabricateth against Allah a lie even as he is summoned Unto Islam? And Allah guideth not a wrongdoing people. (7) Fain would they extinguish the light of Allah is with their mouths and Allah is going to perfect His light, even though averse may be the in-fidels. (8) He it is Who hath sent His apostle with the guidance and the true religion, that He may make it triumph over all religion, even though averse may be associaters. (9).

      December 3, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • Muneef

      Saba sura 34:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Say thou: whatsoever hire might have asked of you is yours; my hire is with Allah only. And He is of everything a Witness. (47) Say thou: verily my Lord hurleth the truth: the Knower of things hidden. (48) Say thou: the truth is come, and falsehood shall neither originate nor be restored." (49) Say thou: if ever I go astray, I shall stray only against myself, and if I remain guided it is because of that which my Lord hath revealed Unto me. Verily He is Hearing, Nigh. (50).

      December 3, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
    • Muneef

      Al-Rad sura 13:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      And assuredly We sent apostles before thee and We made for them wives and progeny and it is not for an apostle to Produce a verse except by the command of Allah; for everv time there is a Book. (38) Allah abolisheth whatsoever He Will and keepeth; and with Him is the mother of the Book. (39) And whether We shew thee part of that which We have promised them, or We take thee away, on thee is only the preaching, and on Us is the reckoning. (40).

      December 3, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • Muneef

      Az-Zukhruf sura 43:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Ha Mim. (1) By the Book that makes things clear― (2) We have made it a Qur'an in Arabic, that ye may be able to understand (and learn wisdom). (3) And verily it is in the Mother of the Book, in Our Presence, high (in dignity), full of wisdom. (4).

      December 3, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
    • Muneef

      You realize now that Mr. Not Zaki Nor Ameen has acted as a private dancer writing for you what you like to get your money investing and feeding on your hat-red and fears..but ;
      Fain would they extinguish the light of Allah is with their mouths and Allah is going to perfect His light, even though averse may be the in-fidels. (8)

      December 3, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
    • chaharmahal

      ed. sura 758:
      I like you wife(muhammad said to his general) and god said I should sleep with her..........., and the general said my wife is yours now.

      December 3, 2010 at 8:11 pm |
    • .308


      There's nothing like a good productive debate...

      December 3, 2010 at 8:50 pm |
  6. 3rdMLNM

    Real "Good-News" for all!

    Jesus kept his promise
    and has already come back again,
    in the beginnig of this Third and Last Day (=Millennium),

    as he promised herein (=John 6/27-40)

    together with Moses, Jesus, Muhammad,
    herein now:


    December 3, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
  7. youN4STY

    why would anyone accept Al Qaeda when it was established by the CIA in the first place. Hesbollah and Hamas are freedom fighters against the zionists aka the new nazis

    December 3, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  8. davId smith

    I don't know how long I have been trying to tell people this. We have some essential people of the Muslim faith in America, working diligently and faithfully risking their lives as much or more than any other American.

    Ahmed Shah Moussamed fought the Taliban with all his might, he read the Quran daily and he was killed by a suicide bomber of the Taliban on 9/9/01 only two days before the twin towers went down.

    Peace begins at home.

    December 3, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
    • the truth_

      I agree! Thank you at least someone understands!

      December 3, 2010 at 11:01 pm |
  9. Offended1

    I feel offended by the article and posts.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  10. Ramon

    There was no Hamas before Israel brutalized the Palestinians. There was no Hizbollah before Israel murdered 10,000's of Lebanese civilians. Bush would not have won approval and support for wars before 9/11. The simple fact, people every where vote for militery and army at times of distress, wars, and OCCUPATION.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  11. X-X-X

    After Nazis, Hindus have the most contstructive and state sponsored ways of ....ing religious minorities with no media exposure in India.

    December 3, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  12. Ramon

    Gee I wonder if FOX News and other anti-Islam hate bigots will report this and accept its results!?
    If the results were the opposite, then these hat/war mongers would be their headlines!

    December 3, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
    • The Truth

      Survey says...surveys don't change a thing. Elections do. Who do the people support in elections? Hamas in Gaza, Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hezbollah in Lebonan, and non-secular government in Turkey. Who is protesting the brutal Shari'a law in Saudi Arabia? Nobody...it has overwhelming support from its citizens. The survey is a joke, dude.

      December 3, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  13. chaharmahal

    Muslims always lie .

    December 3, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
    • The Truth

      Amen, chaharmahal. The biggest problem is that very few people in the US and Europe really understand Islam and the insidious way it oppresses its people. It is carefully designed to keep people improverished, ignorant and angry. Throw in unyielding rules enforced by the rath of an angry god and its followers become the perfect soldiers. And if you know anything about Mohammed, that is just what he was trying to accomplish. Islam is not a religion, its a political system run amok. First amendment protections of religion should not apply to Islam anymore than they should apply to Nazis or Communists.

      December 3, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
    • the truth_

      How do you know that Muslims always lie. Again people in this world are being stereotypical. How about if I said Christians always lie and Jews always lie.? How would you like that? You need to pick up a book and read about Islam and how similar it is to Christianity and Judaism. That is why God created the three religions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

      December 3, 2010 at 11:00 pm |
    • Newyorker

      So, if a Muslim thinks you are smart, then you are in fact stupid. I'm a Muslims and I think you are a genius!

      December 4, 2010 at 11:47 am |
    • the truth_

      Thank you. I take that as a compliment.

      December 4, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  14. da_mheng

    This "eye for an eye" strategy the terrorists are practising will eventually be their own ruin. Someday, perhaps soon, the people they're targeting will have had enough. When that day comes, someone (not saying who) will turn their world into an eternal flame of retribution! Are they just plain stupid or something?

    December 3, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  15. da_mheng

    Why don't they just trade in their camels for F-16's and fight like men?

    December 3, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  16. bugsbunny101

    28 Oct 2010 ... New Polls: Half Of Palestinians Favor Suicide Bombings Against Israel, ... of Palestinians support continued suicide bombings against Israel.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
    • Adrian

      The other half wanted missle strikes.

      December 3, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  17. EnoughAlready

    Take a look a today's CNN news, a house full of explosives in CA, too many for the bomb squad to remove. As is usual, this was perpetrated by a non-muslim white guy. The vast majority of bombings in America since 1900 have been perpertrated by While American Christian Men. In Egypt most of the bombings are perpertrated by Egyptian Muslim men- In Pakistan, Pakistanee Muslim men. See the pattern? Most Muslims set off explosive in their own countries because they do not like the dictator in charge- its about distabilizing their own government- it isn't about religion, its about power and politics.

    El-Qaida is unique, their own gov't isn't the only target, they (llike the Pinky and the Brain cartoon) want world domination- religion is just one of their tools, they have dabbled in the drug trade and will work with anyone who will support their aim. Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian goverments respond harshly after terrorist/freedom fighter attacks- they make mass arrests and harshly punish whole groups of people just in case one of them is guilty. Individual Muslims also speak out in their communities for peace and democracy, why can't you hear them? Personally, I have worked for about twenty years in the emergency services/ security industry- my life is about security and I get tired of listening to baggers and clerks talking about how we "the muslims" are doing nothing about terrorism. What have you done today to bring about peace on earth?

    December 3, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
    • Adrian

      I'm joining the military after i graduate.

      December 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
    • da_mheng

      Well, I can tell you what I haven't done. I haven't commited any terrorist crimes against ANYONE and until YOU come out and say that OBL is a terrorist and a criminal and should be punished for his crime against America your mouthiness will only serve to alienate YOU even further!

      December 3, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • Younis Mourabi

      Enough Already – I oiled my .308 and scored a perfect 10 on the range @ 800 yards in some tough crosswinds. I must admit getting a little extra motivation when I turn up Al-Jazeera and have little pics of mullahs to focus on downrange. I pretend each one is an Iranian Ayatollah, relax, and squeeze the trigger. I call it practicing for peace.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:49 am |
  18. Jon C

    And how many of these Muslims that reject Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, etc. will actually come out and say specifically "Osama Bin Laden is a terrorist, and I hope the Americans get him and punish him for what he did."?

    Answer that. I don't want to hear what Islam is and Islam isn't, or what the Quran says or what it doesn't say. I want Muslims to come out and say that Bin Laden is a terrorist and should be caught by America and punished.

    Anything less is just BS word games designed to sidestep the issue.

    December 3, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
    • EnoughAlready

      Are you close enough to hear "Muslims" say anything? Have you been to Southeast Asia or the Middle East, or even London? Do you even know any Muslims? Ask them how they felt during 9/11. Ask them how they feel about being blamed for Bin Laudin. When we start talking about the Quoran and how it doesn't support violence, hear us already! The God, the only God there is, doesn't support violence or violent extremists. That makes violent extremists either 1- non-Muslmis altogether or 2- Muslims who are seriously lost and in really big trouble with The only God there is! Although I spent years in the US military, it is not my job as a peace loving civilian to go out an punish wrong doers; even if the US and Middle Eastern and South East Asian goverments don't manage to adequately caputure and punish the truly guilty- The God already knows them by name, and The God will punish them because the Quoran says so, in addition to violence, they disobey their goverments, harm Muslim and other Monotheistic peoples etc etc). If any readers of this answer doubt this statement, go back and aks The God for guidance and re-read your Quaran in a language you functionally understand (Pickthall and his team provide a high quality english translation)

      December 3, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
    • .308

      @ EnoughAlready

      " The God will punish them because the Quoran says so "

      Maybe people are concerned about exactly 'when' this punishment would be carried out? Before, or after the next bombing?

      December 3, 2010 at 9:11 pm |
  19. da_mheng

    So, only 30% of muslims support terrorism hmmmm, how many billions strong are they? Wonder how they would feel if 30% of Christians supported terrorist activities againt THEM? You know, car bombs, airplanes etc. Maybe they could clean up their own mess!

    December 3, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
    • Adrian

      Lets count them. So Islam has 1.5 billion members and 30% of that is 450000000 muslims who support terrorisim. Thats higher than the US population! But yea keep telling us they're a small minority .

      December 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm |




    December 3, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
    • Adrian

      This people is the "moerate muslim". Barely literate, refuses to acknowlege facts, and supports terrorisim. "This is why you people must go.

      December 3, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
    • .308

      @ Adrian

      " "moerate muslim". Barely literate "

      Nope... doesn't look good. Not good at all. Sometimes spelling matters.

      December 3, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
    • Please


      I suppose you've never hit a key too softly and didn't realize it until you posted. What Adrian said is absolutely true. Your attempt at belittling him to detract from what he was saying is simply childish. Please feel free to correct any errors you find in my post. Spelling never matters as much as the truth.

      December 3, 2010 at 11:19 pm |
    • .308

      @ Please

      "I suppose you've never hit a key too softly "

      Of course; I do it all the time. I also try to proof my post before it goes up; twice if I'm making a comment like his. It's unnecessary to leave yourself open like that. Live and learn. Watch the /\/\/\/\/\/\/ lines under your words.

      It was a comment on process, not content. Learn the difference.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:49 am |
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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.