Jan 18 2008

Most Pakistanis Reject Radical Islam

Published by at 3:42 pm under All General Discussions,Pakistan

As I noted below in a previous post which ever side is finally deemed to have killed moderate leader Benazir Bhutto will probably face rejection by the majority of Pakistanis. If it turns out to be tied to the foreign al-Qaeda presence it is they who will be purged of Pakistani political support. I think that assumption has just been validated by a new poll showing a large majority of Pakistanis rejecting the radical Islamicists:

An in-depth survey of Pakistani public opinion reveals majority support for a moderate and democratic Islamic state, though a small but significant minority shows sympathy for Islamist militant groups.

Most Pakistanis want Islam to play a larger role in Pakistani society. However, a majority also favors a more democratic political system, rejects ‘Talibanization,” and supports recent government efforts to reform the madrassah system by focusing more on science and mathematics. Majorities have little sympathy for Islamist military groups and most would like to see the Federally Administered Tribal Areas integrated into Pakistan.

There is little support among Pakistanis for a shift to extreme religious conservatism. Only a small minority (15%)-even among those who want a greater role for Shari’a-say they want to see more “Talibanization of daily life.” Eighty-one percent say it is important for Pakistan to protect religious minorities-which have been frequent targets of militant violence-and three quarters (75-78 percent) say that attacks on specific religious minorities (Ahmadiyya and Shi’a) are never justified.

Perhaps most significantly, the survey identified substantial support for reforming the religious schools known as madrassahs. About two-thirds (64 percent) support a recent government plan to regulate the madrassahs, requiring them to register with the government and to spend more time on subjects like math and science. Only 17 percent are opposed to such reform efforts. Interestingly, those who want a larger role for Shari’a are more likely than others to strongly favor these reforms.

There is also little sympathy for Islamist militant groups operating in Pakistan. Three in five (60-62 percent) view the activities of al Qaeda, local Taliban, and Pakistani Islamist militant groups as threats to Pakistan’s vital interests. However, a significant 14 to 18 percent do not view these groups as a threat to Pakistan.

Since this poll was taken a while ago I would speculate support for radical Isam is sinking, not rising. And I think if Bhutto is deemed a victim of radical Islam it will add to the bleeding of support away from al-Qaeda and the Taliban. As I have said, I think Pakistan has an opportunity to ‘awaken’ just as Iraqis did – who at one point also had some high levels of support for al-Qaeda before they found their loved ones and neighbors dead in the street thanks to Bin Laden’s thugs.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Most Pakistanis Reject Radical Islam”

  1. kathie says:

    Did you see this AJ……good things are breaking out all over the Middle East. Found on REALCLEAR POLITICS. Maybe when the ball gets rolling it just keeps rolling.

    Masdar City in Abu Dhabi to lay claim to greenest city(No cars allowed!)
    Posted by Red in Blue PA
    On News/Activism 01/18/2008 12:45:18 PM PST · 5 replies

    News.com ^ | 1/18/2008 | Martin LaMonica
    The cleanest city in the entire world will take root next month in Abu Dhabi, a place best known for its oil. -snip- In February, Masdar (which means “the source” in Arabic) will break ground on the six-square-kilometer city that its backers say will be the first zero-pollution, zero-waste city. The city will be capable of housing 47,500 people, who are scheduled to start moving there in 2009. Construction is expected to take 10 years. -snip- No cars will be allowed in the city. People will get around through an electric light-rail system that will be linked to the center…

  2. kathie says:

    Above found on FREEREPUBLIC…….my mistake.