March 4, 2010

Mixed Views of Hamas and Hezbollah

52%

Muslim publics are split on extremist groups, including Palestinians who oppose their own such group (Hamas) but support Hezbollah.

Muslim nations show mixed support for the extremist Islamic organizations Hamas and Hezbollah. Hamas, which won parliamentary elections in Palestine four years ago, is viewed unfavorably by a majority of Palestinians (52%). And reservations about Hamas are particularly common in the portion of the Palestinian territories it controls — just 37% in Gaza express a favorable opinion, compared with 47% in the West Bank. However, Palestinians give the highest rating of any nation surveyed (61% favorable) to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia organization. Hezbollah is very unpopular in its own country, however, with 64% expressing a negative opinion. A strong majority in Lebanon also opposes Hamas. Turkey overwhelmingly rejects both groups, with large majorities having an unfavorable opinion of both Hamas (69%) and Hezbollah (73%). Majorities in Jordan, however, rate both groups favorably; 56% have a favorable opinion of Hamas (the most in any nation surveyed) and 51% rate Hezbollah favorably. Read More