July 15, 2005

To kill or not to kill?

"Handsome bastard". Well ok, at least he's a bastard

An interesting article in today's Ynet discusses what I like to call 'Muslim views on killing the innocent'.

The survey by the Pew Research Center examined public opinion in six predominantly Muslim nations: Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Jordan and Lebanon. It also examined views in nine North American and European countries as well as in India and China.

In all, more than 17,000 people were questioned either by telephone of face-to-face.

The article provides the readers with some interesting statistics, such as:

In Morocco, 26 percent of the public now say they have a lot or some confidence in bin Laden, down from 49 percent in a similar poll two years ago. In Lebanon, where both Muslims and Christians took part in the survey, only 2 percent expressed some confidence in the Saudi-born al-Qaeda leader, down from 14 percent in 2003.

In Turkey, bin Laden's support has fallen to 7 percent from from 15 percent in the past two years. In Indonesia, it has dropped to 35 percent from 58 percent.

However, in Jordan, confidence in bin Laden, who took responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and many other attacks, rose to 60 percent from 55 percent. In Pakistan, it went to 51 percent from 45 percent.

A similar picture emerged when respondents were asked whether suicide bombings were justifiable. In Morocco, 13 percent said they often or sometimes could be justified, down from 40 percent in 2004.


More Jordanians support suicide bombings

In Indonesia, 15 percent expressed that view, down from 27 percent in the summer of 2002. Support for suicide bombings also fell in Pakistan and dropped dramatically in Lebanon. However, support rose in Jordan, to 57 percent from 43 percent in 2002.

The poll was taken well before last week's bombings in London.

When asked what caused Islamic extremism, 40 percent in Lebanon and 38 percent in Jordan blamed U.S. policies and influence; in Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey, respondents were more likely to blame poverty, unemployment or poor education.

The Christian view of Muslims and the Muslim view of Jews

Despite terrorism fears, majorities in Britain, the United States, France, Canada and Russia and pluralities in Spain and Poland expressed favorable views about Muslims.

But in Germany and the Netherlands, opinion swung to an unfavorable view. Fifty-one percent of those surveyed in the Netherlands expressed an unfavorable view of Muslims. In Germany, 47 percent were unfavorable, compared with 40 percent who expressed favorable views.

Anti-Jewish sentiment was overwhelming in the Muslim countries. In Lebanon, 100 percent of Muslims and 99 percent of Christians said they had a very unfavorable view of Jews, while 99 percent of Jordanians also viewed Jews very unfavorably.

Posted by Maria at July 15, 2005 10:03 PM | TrackBacks
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You might find this comentary interesting. Here is the thesis of it:

Ever since I first heard of the "Jews as canaries" idea, I rather liked it. It states that the way a place treats Jews is a good indicator of how other groups will be treated down the line, and when things start getting bad for the Jews, it's gonna start going downhill for a lot of other people in fairly short order.

Posted by: the Pirate at July 15, 2005 11:50 PM Permalink

Pirate's right. Most countries in which Jews are allowed to live and worship feely also treat other minorities well.

Posted by: EdWonk at July 17, 2005 04:53 AM Permalink