Muslim Publics Hold Very Negative Opinions Of Well-Known Extremist Groups

A 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center showed that citizens of Middle-Eastern, African, and Asian countries have grown increasingly concerned about Islamic extremism.  In most cases, this concern is share by Muslims and non-Muslims alike:

  • In Lebanon, 92 percent of the public is worried about Islamic extremism, up 11 points since 2013. Lebanese Christians, Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims all share high levels of concern.
  • Eight-in-ten in Tunisia express anxiety about extremism in their country, up from 71 percent in 2013 and 65 percent in 2012. 
  • Three-quarters in Egypt are also concerned, up from 69 percent in 2013.
  • In the Palestinian territories, 65 percent worry about extremism, with much greater concern in the Gaza Strip (79 percent) than in the West Bank (57 percent).
  • 62 percent of Jordanians are concerned about extremism in their country, up 13 percentage points since 2012. Just half of Turks hold this view, but this is up 18 percentage points from two years ago.
  • 84 percent of Israelis express worries about Islamic extremism, although this view is more common among Israeli Jews (87 percent) than among Israeli Arabs (66 percent).
  • In Asia, strong majorities in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Malaysia are concerned about Islamic extremism. However, in Indonesia, only about four-in-ten share this view, down from 48 percent in 2013.
  • In Nigeria, 72 percent of the public is concerned about Islamic extremism, similar to the seven-in-ten who said this in last year’s survey, before the most recent spate of terrorist attacks and kidnappings in its northern provinces. Both Nigerian Muslims and Nigerian Christians express high levels of concern.

The populations surveyed also expressed very negative opinions of extremist groups, such as Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Taliban, Hamas (including among Palestinians), or Hezbollah.

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Frederique Laubepin

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