Decline in Muslim Support for Osama Bin Laden Preceding Death

As discussed in a recent Economist article, poll results from the Pew Research Center suggest that support for Osama Bin Laden had been waning in Muslim countries throughout the years leading up to the leader's death. While 70% of respondents in Palestinian territories said they had confidence that Osama Bin Laden was "doing the right thing in world affairs" in a 2003 poll, only a third of those questioned responded this way in a poll conducted just before the leader's death. A similar decline in support was also indicated in polls conducted in other Muslim countries. This article puts forward several explanations for this apparent decline in support, including Osama Bin Laden's lower profile in more recent years. The graph below charts the percent of respondents saying they had "a lot" or "some" confidence that Osama Bin Laden was doing "the right thing in world affairs" between 2003 and 2010. It includes poll results from Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey in addition to Palestinian territories. As the graph shows, there was a clear decrease in the Palestinian territories and some Muslim nations, including Jordan. However, some countries, such as Nigeria and Egypt, show a less marked decrease in support.

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