A recent Pew Study has revealed some interesting insights about the way the Muslim world perceives violence committed in the name of the religion, with a vast majority of the Muslims in the Middle East, south Asia and Africa rejecting Islamic extremism.
The Pew Study explains, “In many of the countries surveyed, clear majorities of Muslims oppose violence in the name of Islam. Indeed, about three-quarters or more in Pakistan (89%), Indonesia (81%), Nigeria (78%) and Tunisia (77%), say suicide bombings or other acts of violence that target civilians are never justified.”
Furthermore, Islamic extremism is a point of concern for a clear majority of Muslims in all but two countries surveyed by Pew. Senegalese Muslims are the most concerned on whole, with 75 percent of those surveyed agreeing, but at least 60 percent of Muslims in Lebanon, Tunisia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Egypt and the Palestinian territories are also concerned.
In Indonesia, the Muslim public is evenly split at 48 percent in each camp, while in Turkey, 51 percent of Muslims say they are not worried about Islamic extremism.
According to Pew, “overall support for violence in the name of Islam has declined among Muslim publics during the past decade.”
“Today, Al Qaeda is widely reviled, with a median of 57 percent across the 11 Muslims publics surveyed saying they have an unfavorable opinion of the terrorist organization that launched the twin attacks on New York City and Washington, DC more than a decade ago,” Pew said.
However, one discouraging sign stuck out: “Support for suicide bombing and other violence aimed at civilian targets is most widespread in the Palestinian territories, with 62% of Muslims saying that such attacks are often or sometimes justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies. Support is strong both in Hamas-ruled Gaza (64%) and the Fatah-governed West Bank (60%),” according to Pew.
The study revealed that 37 percent of Palestinian Muslims surveyed said suicide bombing were often justified, with 25 percent saying they are sometimes justified and 16 percent saying they are rarely justified.