Fears of extremism rise in Pakistan: Poll

Findings of latest survey show majority of Pakistanis have no sympathies for Taliban militants.

Afp July 02, 2014
Fears of extremism rise in Pakistan: Poll

WASHINGTON: Sixty-six percent of Pakistanis are concerned about religious extremism while 59 percent have no sympathies for Taliban militants, a poll released on Tuesday revealed.

The findings of the Pew Research Center survey - which included interviews of more than 14,200 people in 14 countries – showed fears about extremism rising in nations with large Muslim populations from the Middle East to South Asia and support for radical groups sliding.

Concern about extremism has increased in the past 12 months amid the dragging war in Syria and attacks by Nigeria's Boko Haram militants.

“In Asia, strong majorities in Bangladesh (69 percent), Pakistan (66 percent) and Malaysia (63 percent) are concerned about religious extremism," the Pew report said.

Extremist groups such as al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Boko Haram and even Hamas, which won elections to take control of running the Gaza Strip, are also losing support.

And backing for the use of suicide bombings against civilian targets has dropped significantly in the past decade following a slew of brutal attacks.

The review was carried out from April 10 to May 25, before the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - now renamed the Islamic State - took over the northern Iraqi town of Mosul in a lightning offensive which has seen it seize a large swathe of territory.

In Lebanon, which shares a border with Syria, as many as 92 percent of those interviewed said they were worried about religious extremism.

That figure was up 11 points from 2013, and was spread evenly among Lebanon's Sunni, Shia and Christian communities.

Concern has also risen in Jordan and Turkey, both of which border Syria and have taken in significant numbers of refugees fleeing the three-year war to oust Syrian President Bashar al Assad, in which extremists have increasingly moved into the chaos.

Some 62 percent of Jordanians voiced fears about extremism, up 13 points since 2012, while in Turkey half of those polled shared the same concerns, up 18 points from two years ago.

However, in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, such fears were not shared, with only four in ten people voicing any anxiety about extremism.

An overwhelming majority of Nigerians (79 percent) were against Boko Haram, behind the kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls earlier this year.

Just over half of Palestinians (53 percent) have an unfavourable opinion of Hamas, blamed this week by Israel for the murders of three teenagers, and the figure rises to 63 percent in the Gaza Strip, higher than on the West Bank controlled by the rival Fatah party.

Only 46 percent of Palestinians believed that suicide bombings could be justified against civilians, down from 70 percent in 2007.

And the figure among Lebanese Muslims has fallen from 74 percent in 2007 to 29 percent today.


MSS | 9 years ago | Reply

@A Statistics generally represent a picture based on probabilities. The samples, if carefully chosen and stratified and using 95% confidence intervals can give a good indication of reality. So please do not dismiss these figures. I am great believer in the validity of statistics.

Gurion | 9 years ago | Reply


@PeaceMonger: ARE YOU INDIAN

So what even if?!

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