Significant Worldwide Drop in Support for Bin Laden

The Pew Global Attitudes Project finds declining support for Osama bin Laden among Muslim publics worldwide. More importantly, majorities or pluralities among eight of the nine Muslim publics surveyed this year say that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilians can never be justified to defend Islam.

Only in the Palestinian territories is there strong support for suicide bombing.

The drop in support for bin Laden has been most dramatic in Indonesia, Pakistan and Jordan. Currently, about one-quarter of Muslims in Jordan (28%) and Indonesia (25%) express confidence in the al Qaeda leader to do the right thing regarding world affairs; in 2003, majorities in each country agreed (56% and 59%, respectively).

The drop in support for Bin Laden in Pakistan, where bin Laden is believed to be hiding is no 18% vs 34% just last year. In 2003, nearly half (46%) agreed. Pew Global Attitudes Project released a separate survey last August 2009 concerning Pakistan.