A year after bin Laden death, poll finds broad Muslim disapproval of Al Qaeda


Egyptian protesters carry an obelisk with the names of those killed during last year's uprising, at a huge rally in Tahrir Square on January 25, 2012, marking the first anniversary of the uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak as a debate raged over whether the rally was a celebration or a second push for change. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS



A Pew Global Attitudes Project poll released a day before the anniversary of the death of Osama Bin Laden shows that Muslim attitudes toward Al Qaeds remains sour in five key countries. 

In Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and Pakistan, majorities of Muslims hold an unfavorable opinion of Al Qaeda. In secular Turkey and Lebanon, the fewest percentages favored the terrorist group - just six and two percent, respectively.

The number jumps up in Pakistan, where 13 percent have a favorable opinion. In Jordan, supporters number 15 percent of the survey, and Egypt comes in with the highest percentage of supporters - a solid 21 percent of Muslims.

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Jordan's approval of the group is "down significantly from 34% in 2010," wrote Pew. In 2005 the number was 61 percent.

The interviews were conducted face-to-face in the countries, alleviating some of the issues that have plagued Western public opinion pollsters in Arab and Muslim countries. 

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A former CIA agent told the Atlantic that the additional dimming of the terrorist group's appaeal may be due to the loss of the particulalry visionary leader that Al Qaeda had in Osama bin Laden.

"Though opinion polls show that many Muslims had become repulsed by al-Qaida's willingness to shed Muslim blood, bin Laden's role as visionary and ideological lodestar for some Islamic extremists survives him. Ideas don't die."