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Poll: Palestinians Overwhelmingly Say Suicide Bombing Justified

• September 10, 2013 11:55 am

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A majority of Palestinians say the act of suicide bombing is often or sometimes justified, according to a new Pew Research survey.

In response to the prompt, "Suicide bombings can be justified…" 62 percent of Palestinians responded "often" or "sometimes":

Support for suicide bombing and other violence aimed at civilian targets is most widespread in the Palestinian territories, with 62% of Muslims saying that such attacks are often or sometimes justified in order to defend Islam from its enemies. Support is strong both in Hamas-ruled Gaza (64%) and the Fatah-governed West Bank (60%). […]

For the most part, support for suicide bombing is not correlated with devoutness. Generally, Muslims who say they pray five times per day are no more likely to support targeting civilians to protect Islam than those who pray less often. The only exception is the Palestinian territories, where 66% of Muslims who pray five times per day say suicide bombing is often or sometimes justified versus 49% of those who pray less than five times per day.

Muslims polled in the Palestinian territories were the only group to express majority support for suicide bombings. A majority of Muslims polled in countries like Pakistan, Jordan, and Turkey said suicide bombings are "never" justified in the name of Islam; substantial minorities in Egypt, Malaysia, and Lebanon answered "sometimes," however.

Published under: Middle East