World

Nations With Significant Muslim Populations Have Overwhelmingly Negative Views of ISIS, Survey Finds

From Nigeria and Jordan to Indonesia and Turkey, Muslims have overwhelmingly expressed negative views of the extremist group.

Photo Credit: Senate.gov

Ever since the horrific terror attacks in Paris, right-leaning pundits — and Bill Maher — have wondered why the Muslim world has not condemned ISIS. The answer is, Muslims have. In droves, and in the immediate aftermath of the attack. They also condemned ISIS before the attack.

According to a recent poll by Pew Research Center, disdain for ISIS is high among citizens of 11 countries with large Muslim populations, including Jordan, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey. In Lebanon, hatred of ISIS is at 100 percent. It's hard to beat that for universal condemnation.

Since Beirut was recently the site of an ISIS terror attack — the most deadly attack since Lebanon's civil war — the enmity for the extremist group stands to reason, and has likely strengthened. But Pew's survey was conducted in April and May of this year, suggesting that Muslims do not have to be direct victims of the group to hate them.

 Anti-ISIS sentiment also runs high among Israeli Arabs and residents of the Palestinian territories.

Here are numbers from the survey:

From Pew:

In no country surveyed did more than 15% of the population show favorable attitudes toward Islamic State. And in those countries with mixed religious and ethnic populations, negative views of ISIS cut across these lines.

In Lebanon, a victim of one of the most recent attacks, almost every person surveyed who gave an opinion had an unfavorable view of ISIS, including 99% with a very unfavorable opinion. Distaste toward ISIS was shared by Lebanese Sunni Muslims (98% unfavorable) and 100% of Shia Muslims and Lebanese Christians.

Israelis (97%) and Jordanians (94%) were also strongly opposed to ISIS as of spring 2015, including 91% of Israeli Arabs. And 84% in the Palestinian territories had a negative view of ISIS, both in the Gaza Strip (92%) and the West Bank (79%). 

Six-in-ten or more had unfavorable opinions of ISIS in a diverse group of nations, including Indonesia, Turkey, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Malaysia and Senegal.

The one exception was Pakistan, where a majority of the people surveyed had no definite opinion. There was marginally more support for ISIS in Nigeria (14 percent), and there were differences along religious lines.

Still, 62 percent of Nigerian Muslims and 71 percent of Nigerian Christians dislike the group, so it's not winning any popularity prizes there. Nigeria has been the victim of numerous and deadly terror attacks by the ISIS-affiliated group Boko Haram.

In Western European countries, concern about ISIS attacks also ran high in the survey; concern that was horrifically and tragically validated in Paris last week.

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