January 5, 2010

Nigerian Muslims Favoring Suicide Bombing

43%

A substantial minority of Muslims in Nigeria say that violence against civilians in defense of Islam can sometimes or often be justified.

Support for suicide bombings and other acts of violence against civilians in defense of Islam has declined substantially since 2002 among most Muslim populations surveyed by the Pew Global Attitudes Project. But against the trend, support for suicide bombing among Nigerian Muslims increased by 11 percentage points between 2008 and 2009, rising from 32% to 43%, rebounding to about where it was in 2002 (47%). Only in the Palestinian territories does a higher proportion of Muslims (68%) express support for violence targeting civilians, according to the 2009 survey. Moreover, while confidence in Osama bin Laden has fallen sharply since 2003 among every other Muslim population surveyed, a 54%-majority of Nigerian Muslims express confidence in the al Qaeda leader, up from 44% in 2003. Read More