In Middle East, Concerns about Islamic Extremism on the Rise

(Pew Research Center) Concern about Islamic extremism is high and growing among countries with substantial Muslim populations, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center In the Palestinian territories, 65% were concerned about Islamic extremism, with much greater concern in Gaza (79%) than in the West Bank (57%). Al-Qaeda gets negative marks in all 14 countries surveyed, with its greatest support in the Palestinian territories (25%). Hizbullah also is seen unfavorably in every Middle Eastern country surveyed. Among Palestinians in the West Bank, 35% had a favorable view vs. 46% unfavorable; in Gaza, 26% favorable, 69% unfavorable. Among Israeli Arabs, 25% viewed Hizbullah favorably, 65% unfavorably. Most countries surveyed have an unfavorable impression of Hamas. In the West Bank, 35% favorable, 47% unfavorable. In Gaza, 35% favorable, 63% unfavorable. Interestingly, Hamas' greatest support is found among Lebanese Shiites (55%). When it took control of Gaza in 2007, 62% of Palestinians had a favorable view of Hamas, while a third had negative views. Now, only about a third have positive opinions. 62% of Palestinians in Gaza say suicide bombings can be justified against civilian targets, as do 36% in the West Bank. Overall, support by Palestinian Muslims for suicide bombing has fallen 16 percentage points since 2013.

2014-07-02 00:00:00

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