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Hamas and Hezbollah get mixed ratings in Muslim world

by Brad A. Greenberg

December 8, 2010 | 10:46 am

A recent study by the Pew Research Center found that Muslims around the world see Islamic terrorist organizations differently. There is mixed support—even majority support in some countries—for Hamas and Hezbollah, but al Qaeda remains more broadly unpopular.

More than nine-in-ten (94%) Muslims in Lebanon express negative opinions of al Qaeda, as do majorities of Muslims in Turkey (74%), Egypt (72%), Jordan (62%) and Indonesia (56%). Only in Nigeria do Muslims express positive views of al Qaeda; 49% have a favorable view and just 34% have an unfavorable view of bin Laden’s organization.

The survey also finds that Muslim publics overwhelmingly welcome Islamic influence over their countries’ politics. In Egypt, Pakistan and Jordan, majorities of Muslims who say Islam is playing a large role in politics see this as a good thing, while majorities of those who say Islam is playing only a small role say this is bad for their country. Views of Islamic influence over politics are also positive in Nigeria, Indonesia, and Lebanon.

Turkish Muslims express more mixed views of the role Islam is playing in their country’s political life. Of the 69% who say the religion plays a large role, 45% see it as good and 38% see it as bad for their country. Among the minority of Muslims who say Islam plays a small role in politics, 26% consider this to be good for Turkey and 33% say it is bad.

You can read the full report here.

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