Al-Qaeda's Popularity Plunges in Muslim World

[Washington Post] Karen P. Hughes - Polls show that the standing of Bin Laden and al-Qaeda has dramatically declined in majority-Muslim countries. In Afghanistan and Iraq, more than 90% have unfavorable views of both. Polling in Turkey two years ago found that 90% believed the al-Qaeda bombings in London, Istanbul, Madrid and Egypt to be unjust and unfair; 86% thought that there was no excuse for condoning the Sept. 11 attacks; and 75% said bin Laden does not represent Muslims. Support for terrorist tactics has fallen in seven of the eight predominantly Muslim countries polled as part of the Pew Global Attitudes Project since 2002; in most cases, those declines have been dramatic. Five years ago in Lebanon, 74% thought suicide bombing could sometimes be justified. Today it's 34%. Similar declines in support have occurred in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia and Jordan. found in April that large majorities in Egypt (88%), Indonesia (65%) and Morocco (66%) agree: "Groups that use violence against civilians, such as al-Qaeda, are violating the principles of Islam. Islam opposes the use of such violence." The writer is U.S. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

2007-09-21 01:00:00

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