Friday, July 15, 2005

Pew Report on Islamic Extremism

Islamic Extremism: Common Concern for Muslim and Western Publics

Concerns about Islamic extremism, widespread in the West even before this month's terrorist attacks in London, are shared to a considerable degree by the publics in several predominantly Muslim nations, most notably Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey and Indonesia. Most Muslim publics are also expressing less support for acts of terrorism in defense of Islam and less confidence in Osama bin Laden.

Yet, the latest survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, conducted this spring among more than 17,000 people in 17 countries, finds that Muslim and non-Muslim publics have very different attitudes with regard to the impact of Islam on their countries.

While publics in predominantly Muslim countries voice concerns that Islamic extremism can lead to violence, fewer personal freedoms, internal divisions, and retarded economic development, the balance of opinion is that Islam is playing a larger political role in their nations, and most welcome that development. Turkey is a clear exception: there the public is divided about the desirability of a larger political role for Islam. [...]