Most Muslims Want Democracy, Personal Freedoms, and Islam in Political Life
More than a year after the first stirrings of the Arab Spring, there continues to be a strong desire for democracy in Arab and other predominantly Muslim nations. A substantial number in key Muslim countries also want a large role for Islam in political life. Meanwhile, few think the U.S. favors democracy in the Middle East.
Pakistani Public Opinion Ever More Critical of U.S.
Following a year of tensions between their country and the United States, Pakistanis continue to hold highly unfavorable views of the U.S. and offer bleak assessments of the relationship between the two nations. And President Obama is held in exceedingly low regard. Additionally, over the last few years, Pakistanis have become less willing to work with the U.S. on efforts to combat extremist groups.
On Anniversary of bin Laden’s Death, Little Backing of al Qaeda
A year after the death of Osama bin Laden, a new survey of Muslim publics shows al Qaeda is widely unpopular, with majorities expressing negative views of the terrorist group in Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Turkey and Lebanon. Furthermore, before his death in 2011, support for bin Laden himself had waned considerably among Muslims around the world.
Arab Spring Fails to Improve U.S. Image
Support for democracy is high throughout much of the Middle East, but the Arab Spring has not led to an improvement in America’s image in the region. Instead, in key Arab nations and in other predominantly Muslim countries, views of the U.S. remain negative. On balance, extremist groups also viewed negatively, although they receive significant levels of support in some countries.
Osama bin Laden Largely Discredited Among Muslim Publics in Recent Years
In the months leading up to Osama bin Laden’s death, a survey of Muslim publics around the world found little support for the al Qaeda leader. Al Qaeda itself also received largely negative ratings among Muslim publics in the 2011 survey.
Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah
Extremist groups Hamas and Hezbollah continue to receive mixed ratings from Muslim publics. However, opinions of al Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, are consistently negative; only in Nigeria do Muslims offer views that are, on balance, positive toward al Qaeda and bin Laden.
Concern About Extremist Threat Slips in Pakistan
Overwhelmingly, Pakistanis see terrorism as a major problem in their country and most have negative views of the Taliban and al Qaeda, but they have become less concerned over the last year that extremists will take over Pakistan. Meanwhile, Pakistanis continue to express serious concerns about the U.S. and their longtime rival India.
Pakistani Public Opinion
Pakistani public opinion has turned against al Qaeda and the Taliban, and no fewer than 69% of those polled express worry that extremists will take control of the nation. Ratings for President Asif Ali Zardari have also plummeted, as Pakistanis see their country in crisis.
Unfavorable Views of Jews and Muslims on the Increase in Europe
Growing numbers of people in several major European countries say they have an unfavorable opinion of Jews, and opinions of Muslims also are more negative than they were several years ago. These findings are from a new Pew Global Attitudes Project report, based on data gathered from 24 countries from regions throughout the world, that examine worldwide religiosity and take a close look at Muslim publics’ attitudes toward terrorism, Osama bin Laden, Hamas, Hezbollah and more.
The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other
After a year marked by riots over cartoon portrayals of Muhammad, a major terrorist attack in London, and continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, most Muslims and Westerners see relations between them as generally bad.