According to a recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center, nearly 15% of the Muslim population in 11 representative nation-states looks favorably on ISIS; 62% say they “don’t know” what to think about the terrorist group. Another Pew poll shows that nearly half of Muslim youths in Paris support suicide bombing.
The first poll involved data taken from Muslim populations living in the following locations: Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Indonesia, Turkey, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Malaysia, Senegal, and Pakistan. Muslims in Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan were nearly unanimous in holding an unfavorable opinion regarding ISIS. In countries like Nigeria, Malaysia, Senegal, and Burkina Faso, antagonism against ISIS hovered around 60%.
In Pakistan, a whopping 62% of those polled look favorably on ISIS. And since Pakistan is a nuclear weapons state, we should consider ISIS as a potential proxy nuclear power via Pakistani support.
If you break the poll down by religion and ethnicity, the results are just as frightening. Four percent Israel’s Arab population (over 66,000 people) views ISIS favorably. In Gaza and the West Bank, the percentage is slightly higher (5% and 8%). Favorability for ISIS within the Muslim population is 20% in Nigeria and 12% in Malaysia.
Buddhists in Malaysia also seem to be okay with the terrorist group. More than a third of them responded with “don’t know” or “favorable” when asked: “Do you have a _____ opinion of the Islamic militant group in Iraq and Syria known as ISIS?”
While it’s true that support for ISIS is a clear minority in most of the countries surveyed, the sheer number of people who look favorably upon the terrorist groups is shocking. The Pew Poll reveals that at least 63 million people in those 11 nation-states support ISIS. That number soars to 287 million if we include those who responded “don’t know.” So at the very least, there are hundreds of millions of people in the world who do support ISIS.
Following the tragedy in Paris, during which 7 terrorists blew themselves up with suicide belts, Pew Research Center also looked into support for suicide bombings. The results are just as shocking: 42% of France’s Muslims (ages 18-29) agree that suicide bombings are ALWAYS justified. Pew Polling released the following statement:
“The higher levels of support for suicide bombing seen among young American Muslims resembles patterns found among Muslims in Europe, where Muslims also constitute a minority population. In Great Britain, France, and Germany, Muslims under the age of 30 are consistently the least likely to say that suicide bombing is never justified.”