Support for suicide bombing amongst Muslims from the Middle East to South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa has shown a dramatic drop over the last decade, research from 11 Muslim countries has shown.
On the 12th anniversary of 9/11 and two years on from death of Osama Bin Laden, a Global Attitudes Project from Pew Research showed that since 2002, attitudes towards suicide bombing and particularly al-Qa'ida have hardened in these nations.
Since 2002, the percentage of Muslims that think suicide bombing can at least be sometimes justified has dropped 41 percentage points in Lebanon, 31 points in Jordan and 30 points in Pakistan. In Nigeria, support has declined 26 points since 2010.
A clear majority of Muslims oppose violence in the name of Islam in Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria and Tunisia with many saying suicide bombings that target civilians can never be justified.
The Pew Research produced its report after conducting face-to-face interviews of 8,989 Muslims in 11 Muslim countries; Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Palestinian territories, Senegal, Tunisia and Turkey.
The report, which also documents concern about extremists states: “Widespread Muslim concern about Islamic extremism is generally coupled with rejection of suicide bombing and other forms of violence in the name of Islam.
"However, in some countries, substantial minorities of Muslims say attacks on civilians are at least sometimes justified to defend Islam from its enemies; in the Palestinian territories, a majority of Muslims hold this view. In Malaysia, however, roughly a quarter of Muslims (27%) take the view that attacks on civilians are sometimes or often justified.
"In Lebanon and Egypt, too, substantial minorities of Muslims (33% and 25%, respectively) think suicide bombings and similar attacks in the name of Islam are at least sometimes justified. However, in both countries, more Muslims say such violence is never justified (41% in Lebanon and 39% in Egypt). “
The full report is available here.
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