Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:February 25th, 2009 15:57 EST
Photo: Ed Yourdon

Muslim Publics Oppose Al Qaeda's Terrorism

By SOP newswire2

Support for Including Islamist Groups in Elections

A study of public opinion in predominantly Muslim countries reveals that very large majorities continue to renounce the use of attacks on civilians as a means of pursuing political goals. At the same time large majorities agree with al Qaeda`s goal of pushing the United States to remove its military forces from all Muslim countries and substantial numbers, in some cases majorities, approve of attacks on US troops in Muslim countries.

Photo by Ed Yourdon

People in majority-Muslim countries express mixed feelings about al Qaeda and other Islamist groups that use violence, perhaps due to this combination of support for al Qaeda`s goals and disapproval of its terrorist methods.

However large majorities support allowing Islamist groups to organize parties and participate in democratic elections. In some majority-Muslim countries, Islamist groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, are forbidden from participating in elections.

Steven Kull, director of WorldPublicOpinion.org, comments, "The US faces a conundrum. US efforts to fight terrorism with an expanded military presence in Muslim countries appear to have elicited a backlash and to have bred some sympathy for al Qaeda, even as most reject its terrorist methods."

The survey is part of an ongoing study of Egypt, Pakistan, and Indonesia, with additional polling in Turkey, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Azerbaijan and Nigeria. It was conducted by WorldPublicOpinion.org with support from the START Consortium at the University of Maryland.