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Pew survey of predominantly Muslim nations shows the majority have unfavorable opinions of the Islamic State

Pew survey of predominantly Muslim nations shows the majority have unfavorable opinions of the Islamic State

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On 17 NOV 2015 the Pew Research Center released the results of a spring survey of 11 nations with large Muslim populations. The survey took the pulse of how the folks in these countries felt about the Islamic State. In 10 of the countries, the majority of Muslims held unfavorable views regarding ISIS. In Pakistan, the majority of the population held no opinion regarding ISIS.

The nation in the survey most recently to suffer an attack by ISIS, Lebanon, 99% of the total population held unfavorable opinions. Of the Sunni population 98% had unfavorable feelings, while the Shia and Christians voiced 100% unfavorable opinions. The other countries bordering Syria also had high margins of unfavorable opinions; Israel – 97%, Jordan – 94%, the Palestinian Territories – 84%. In the final six countries included in the survey, Indonesia, Turkey, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Malaysia and Senegal, 60% and greater held unfavorable opinions of ISIS. Nigerian Muslims held the highest percentage of positive opinions of ISIS, coming in at 20% in favor.

Read the full story at the Pew website and find links to further charts and the research methodology.



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Rob M.

As someone who has posted here a number of times, you should be aware that the comment policy requires you to use your first & last names. Please follow the policy. – ed

Once again, Nigeria, the people who suffer massive corruption within its government and religious institutions, notably the GAFCON Anglican church, show how bad things must really be, as it rates the highest level of citizens who view ISIS positively.

Donna McNiel

This is a significant study and worth paying attention to. However, I’m having a hard time getting past the Cafe’s use of “Moslem” which is frequently considered a derogatory term. “Muslim” would be a helpful edit, and consistent with Pew’s report. Thanks!

Philip B. Spivey

After some brief research, it would seem that many Muslims, when queried, find the term ‘Moslem’ mostly antiquated; a vestige of the Orientalist art movement of the 19th century. In contrast, some Eastern scholars reject the alternate spelling because it is an artifact that they associate with Western imperialism. One modern example might be choosing to use (the now arcane) Peking, instead of Beijing. Others include Oriental vs Asian; Negro vs African American; homosexual vs gay vs queer. Self-identification is an essential component of self-determination.

Other scholars go further, by pointing out that ‘Moslem’ is an anglicized transliteration of Muslim. Consequently, some feel the spelling does not faithfully honor its Islamic phonic roots, while others feel that this form has been used historically in a derogatory manner.

Although I found no real consensus about the spelling, it is clear that the two spellings are now miles apart in meaning; it would seem that ‘Moslem” is an artifact of history that carries a tremendous amount of baggage. At least for now, Muslim is the term of choice.

David Streever

It’s totally understandable that you wouldn’t realize that; I think it’s largely used as a slur in England & France. (France in particular employed wide-spread segregation, terming some citizens ‘Moslem citizens’ & restricting their movements & civil liberties, up until I believe as late as 86!).

There is nothing obviously offensive about the word, but I think the usage of it in France establishes a history behind it.

Interesting stories behind the data I imagine: I wonder why Nigeria has such a favorable view. Boko Haram has killed so many innocent people there and is linked to ISIS; it just seems odd that a poll would find lots of support for ISIS there.

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