In a recent article called ‘Muslims Turn away from Islamism’ analyst Daniel Pipes talks about the growing number of Muslims who are distancing themselves from ‘Islamism’.
A slow and turbulent reforming process is going on in the house of Islam worldwide. It is becoming decidedly “uncool” for a Muslim to support the jihadi interpretation of the Qur’an.
The Pew Research Center recently polled 14,244 respondents in 14 Islamic countries (April and May 2014). Concern about Islamic extremism is running high – and rising – in Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. Everywhere, people are more worried now than twelve months ago about the threat posed by al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and ISIS.
It seems the more Muslims know about Islamism, the more they reject it.
As Islamism has surged over the past decade, Muslim support for it has decreased across the board; the most dramatic reduction has happened over the last year of ISIS’ demonic madness.
Whether the issue is Islamism in general or suicide bombings in particular, Muslim support for such behaviour is substantially reducing.
The three main Palestinian populations (i.e. West Bank, Gaza and the Israeli Arabs) are split. Of all Muslim groups polled, the people of the West Bank and Gaza show the most favourable view of Al-Qaeda (i.e. 26 percent) with only 6 percent of Israeli Arabs favouring Al-Qaeda – a substantial difference.
Palestinians are the most radicalized of the Middle East, if not the world – for political rather than religious reasons.
Palestinians are desperate enough to try any wild-eyed experiment on offer. Four have been tried over the past century:
- pan-Syrian nationalism
- pan-Arab nationalism
- Palestinian nationalism and now
In Nigeria, 76 percent of Muslims and 69 percent of cultural Christians express concern about Boko Haram’s persistent targeting of fellow Muslims in Nigeria. In Lebanon 31 percent of Christians favour Hezbollah, compared to only 9 percent of Sunni Muslims. (n.b. Shi’a Muslims favour it by an overwhelming 86 percent.)
It’s odd that Muslims are sometimes more anti-Islamist than Christians.
Daniel Pipes put forward a year ago the idea that Islamism has peaked and is actually going into decline. The Pew findings may well be an indicator of things to come as Islamism looks set to either drive reform or else the demise of Islam as it has been known.
See the Pew Research Centre poll results at: www.nationalreview.com