A new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center reveals that hostile views towards Jews and Muslims are on the rise in Europe, even while fundamentalism and support for terrorism appear to be dwindling in the Muslim world.
A major new study on religious belief has found that rates of religiousaffiliation are highest in Poland and Italy, while France has a highpercentage of non-religious individuals.
Turkey related foundings from the survey:
Large numbers of Muslims in several
countries surveyed also see a struggle taking place
within their countries between Islamic
fundamentalists and those who want to modernize
the nation. In Turkey, in particular, a large and
growing majority sees such a conflict taking place,
but this view also is common in Lebanon, Tanzania,
Saudi Arabia receives positive ratings from most of the publics in the predominantly
Muslim countries surveyed, although Turkey is an exception; 43% of Turks express an
unfavorable view of Saudi Arabia, while just 36% hold a favorable view.
Views about Christians are decidedly more positive – in the vast majority of publics
surveyed, Christians on balance receive favorable ratings. Still there are some exceptions, most
notably Turkey, where unfavorable views of Christians – as well as unfavorable views of Jews –
have surged over the last four years.
Negative attitudes also are common in the
other predominantly Muslim countries included in the
survey. In both Pakistan and Turkey, 76% express unfavorable opinions of Jews, while fewer
than one-in-ten have a positive impression.
Consistently, Muslim respondents say religion is central to their lives. Even in Turkey, a
Muslim nation with a strong tradition of secularism, 94% say it is important. In the Arab nations
of Jordan (99% important) and Egypt (97%), the numbers are even more overwhelming. Overall,
Lebanese are slightly less likely to hold this view, although it is more common among the
country’s Sunni (98%) and Shia (82%) Muslims than among Lebanese Christians (67%).
Fewer than half of Muslims in Pakistan (46%), Lebanon (45%), and Turkey (34%) pray
five times per day. In Lebanon, this practice is more common among Sunnis (63%) than among
Shia Muslims (35%).
Fasting is least
common in Turkey (only 20% fast all days) and Pakistan (16%).
Similar proportions say they are concerned
about Islamic extremism in their countries.
Majorities in seven of eight countries are very or
somewhat concerned about the rise of extremism in
their country, and worries are especially widespread
in Lebanon (78%), Pakistan (72%) and Egypt
(72%). Once more, Turkey is the exception – only
about four-in-ten Turks (41%) are very or somewhat
The belief that a struggle is occurring is
most common in Turkey, where tensions between
elements of the country’s secular establishment
and the AKP, the country’s ruling moderate
Islamic party, have been high over the last year.
Roughly two-thirds (68%) believe a clash between moderates and fundamentalists is taking place
in Turkey. In several countries, there have been notable
increases in the number of Muslims who see a conflict
between modernizers and fundamentalists. In Tanzania,
Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan and Jordan, Muslims are now
significantly more likely to believe such a conflict is taking
place than they were last year.
Few in Turkey hold favorable views of any of the major countries asked about in the
survey, though more hold positive views of Saudi Arabia (36%) and Pakistan (36%) than any
other country. Only 12% in Turkey give the U.S. a favorable rating. Few in Pakistan or Turkey believe the U.S. supports democracy in their respective
countries. In Turkey, only 14% say that the U.S. favors democracy in their country. In Pakistan,
only two-in-ten hold this view.
Majorities in seven of eight Muslims publics
agree with the statement “Women should have the
right to decide if they wear a veil.” This view is most
widespread in Turkey, Indonesia and Lebanon. Nearly all of (95%) Muslims surveyed in
Turkey – where the country’s highest court recently
upheld a ban on women wearing a head scarf in
government buildings – feel that women should be
able to decide whether to wear a veil.