WASHINGTON: Muslim majorities in an arc of five countries from Egypt to Pakistan have little good to say about al-Qaida one year after American commandos killed the Muslim terror group’s leader, a poll shows.
Most of the views expressed by Muslims in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Pakistan were overwhelmingly negative in the poll conducted as part of the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, released Monday.
The organization cautioned that findings in Pakistan, where U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, did not include responses from areas holding 18 percent of the population; these districts were too dangerous for pollsters to operate.
The poll found overwhelmingly unfavorable views of al-Qaida in Egypt at 71 percent compared to 21 percent who held favorable views; Jordan, 77 percent to 15 percent; Turkey, 73 percent to 6 percent; and Lebanon, 98 percent to 2 percent. The areas of Pakistan polled found 55 percent negative, and 13 percent positive.
Pew said support for bin Laden had been ebbing considerably before his death. In Jordan, for instance, 61 percent of respondents told pollsters in 2007 they had confidence that the terrorist leader would do the right thing. The next year, after al-Qaida suicide attacks against Amman, Jordan’s capital, that number fell to 24 percent. By last year, it was lower still at 13 percent.
The margin of error on the latest polling varied according to the country but ranged from 4.2 percentage points to 5.2 percentage points. The polling was done in late March and early April.