The Times of India reported yesterday:
Nearly 70,000 [Muslim] clerics [from around the world] came together and passed a fatwa [i.e. Islamic legal decree] against terrorist organizations, including IS, Taliban and al-Qaida. These are “not Islamic organizations,” the clerics said to a sea of followers, adding that the members of these outfits were “not Muslims”.
As documented by Metrocosm, what Americans assume about Muslim support for ISIS is very different from reality:
According to a Brookings report from last January:
- 40% of Americans believe most Muslims oppose ISIS.
- 14% think most Muslims support ISIS.
- And 44% (the plurality) of Americans believe Muslim views are evenly balanced on the issue.
What the Muslim world actually thinks of ISIS
Looking only at scientific opinion polls, the results are actually very consistent.
The figures in the map below come from surveys conducted by six different research organizations, covering a combined 20 countries in the Muslim world.
In 15 of the 20 countries shown, support for ISIS is in the single digits. And with the exception of Syria, in no country is it greater than 15%.
- Pew Research Center: Nigeria, Malasia, Senegal, Pakistan, Turkey, Burkina Faso, Palestine, Indonesia, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon
- Washington Institute / David Pollock: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, and Egypt
- ORB International: Iraq and Syria
- Center for Strategic and International Studies: Yemen and Libya
- Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies: Tunisia
- Zogby: Iran
In Lebanon, a victim of one of the most recent attacks, almost every person surveyed who gave an opinion had an unfavorable view of ISIS, including 99% with a very unfavorable opinion. Distaste toward ISIS was shared by Lebanese Sunni Muslims (98% unfavorable) and 100% of Shia Muslims and Lebanese Christians.
Israelis (97%) and Jordanians (94%) were also strongly opposed to ISIS as of spring 2015, including 91% of Israeli Arabs. And 84% in the Palestinian territories had a negative view of ISIS, both in the Gaza Strip (92%) and the West Bank (79%).
Father Elias Mallon of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association remarks:
“Why aren’t Muslims speaking out against these atrocities?” The answer is: Muslims have been speaking out in the strongest terms, condemning the crimes against humanity committed by [extremists] in the name of Islam.
And Rabbi Marc Schneier notes in the Washington Post that the moderate Muslim majority is speaking out against the extremists … but “we’re just not listening.”
Sadly, the U.S. and West are backing the two main countries that support ISIS and Islamic terrorism: Saudi Arabia and Turkey.