PEW Research Center: Muslims Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah

“Muslims in Nigeria and in nearly all of the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed overwhelmingly welcome Islamic influence over their countries’ politics.

Many Muslims see a struggle between groups that want to modernize their countries and Islamic fundamentalists, and in five of the seven countries where the question was asked, more of those who see a struggle identify with the modernizers than with fundamentalists.

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.

Hezbollah receives its most positive ratings in Jordan, where 55% of Muslims have a favorable view; a slim majority (52%) of Lebanese Muslims also support the group, which operates politically and militarily in their country.

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.

When asked for their views about democracy, majorities in most of the Muslim communities surveyed say that democracy is preferable to any other kind of government.

Many Muslims see a struggle between those who want to modernize their country and Islamic fundamentalists.

At least three-quarters of Muslims in Egypt and Pakistan say they would favor making each of the following the law in their countries: stoning people who commit adultery, whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion. Majorities of Muslims in Jordan and Nigeria also favor these harsh punishments.

Eight-in-ten Muslims in Pakistan say suicide bombing and other acts of violence against civilian targets in order to defend Islam from its enemies are never justified”

http://pewglobal.org/2010/12/02/muslims-around-the-world-divided-on-hamas-and-hezbollah/

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