Friday, September 11, 2009

Support for Bin Laden falling amongst Muslims

The Globe and Mail in Canada today reported that Pakistanis are increasingly becoming hostile toward the United States. While this may be true, what is more interesting to note is that the support for Al Qaeda amongst Pakistanis has also been declining.

The latest poll released this week by the Pew Research Center in the US suggests that the support for Osama bin Laden among Pakistanis has declined from 46% in 2003 to merely 18% in 2009. Furthermore, while 33% Pakistanis supported suicide bombings in 2002, the support for violence has declined to merely 5% in 2009, which is the second lowest amongst the Muslim countries surveyed by the Pew Research Center. The support for suicide bombings in Jordan (12%) and Egypt (15%), which are often considered moderate Muslim countries, has been significantly higher than that in Pakistan.

The precipitous decline in the support for Osama bin Laden and the rise in hostility against the US among Pakistanis have one thing in common. Pakistanis hold both Bin Laden and the United States responsible for violence in their homeland where the former is orchestrating suicide bombings while the latter is dropping bombs from unmanned drones.

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