A new poll reveals that people west of the Middle East aren’t the only populations that despise the terrorist/quasi-state ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). In fact, most Middle Eastern countries have an overwhelmingly unfavorable opinion of the extremists and their presence in the region.
The Pew Research Center reported November 17 that it surveyed 11 nations in Asia and Africa where Muslims were a significant part of the populations and found that all 11 countries held ISIS with disfavor, some predominantly so. In fact, the closer in proximity to the actual territory controlled by ISIS (in eastern Syria and northwestern Iraq) one gets, the more the Wahabbist/Salafi terror state is disliked.
According to the survey, the nation of Lebanon led the pack with so few poll participants responding that they were unsure (apparently “favorable” scored a statistical zero) that the “unfavorable” score hit 100 percent. Neighboring Israel and Jordan produced scores of 97 and 94 percent unfavorable, respectively. And in the Palestinian territories? ISIS is viewed with only 6 percent favorability (84 percent unfavorable).
In fact, in all 11 nations surveyed, not one showed a favorability rate higher than 15 percent. The closest was Nigeria (the home of ISIS’ avowed sister terrorist organization, Boko Harum), registering 14 percent favorability, 20 percent unsure, and 64 percent unfavorable.
The nation with the lowest measure of unfavorable opinion, Pakistan, scored 28 percent. Still, that was 19 points higher than the favorable pollers. (The unsure poll participants numbered 62 percent.)
ISIS, which claimed responsibility for the recent Paris terrorist attacks (on November 13), calling the series of attacks the “first of the storm,” is the fundamentalism Islamic terror state that rose up and took control of a thinly held region of the Middle East beginning with its expansion from opposition fighters in Iraq into the chaos that was civil war-torn Syria in 2013. In territories it controls, strict adherence to the organization’s austere and fundamentalist Islamic beliefs is mandatory and enforced by mass killings, forced religious conversions, beheadings, and general social and religious persecution (against Christians, Yazidis, gays, and other Muslim sects considered apostate).
A recent MSNBC poll noted that 65 percent of Americans would support sending additional grounds troops to fight Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, compared to about 31 percent who wouldn’t. Even with popular support and Republican leaders calling for a larger American presence in the area to help fight ISIS, President Obama announced this week that the US would continue with the troops already in place. The president ordered “fewer than 50” special forces troops to Syria in October (the first time American forces were sent specifically to fight in Syria), augmenting the 3,500 US ground troops in Iraq, according to the New York Times.
Reuters reports that Counter-terrorism experts have cautioned against reactionary measures and installing large numbers of troops in the Middle East to combat ISIS, noting that the effort to oust the despised organization will take years. If so, it would appear that even Muslims, for the most part, want the radical Islamic militants gone.