Poll: Palestinians Retained Highest Support of Osama Bin Laden Since 2003

Muslim support for the assassinated al-Qaida leader has declined rapidly since 2003, but Palestinian Muslims remain more enthusiastic that he would do the right thing; only 1% Lebanese Muslims voice support for bin Laden.

Natasha Mozgovaya
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Natasha Mozgovaya

Among six predominantly Muslim countries recently surveyed, Muslims in the Palestinian territories voiced the most support for the assassinated al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, a poll released on Monday showed.

The poll, conducted by Pew Research Centers Global Attitudes Project, found that Muslims around the world displayed a declining confidence in bin Laden, while the Palestinian Muslims retained the highest rates for the assassinated terrorist.

A Palestinians vendor stands next to a photo of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at his shop in the West Bank town of Jenin, Monday, May 2, 2011.Credit: AP

More than 34 percent of Palestinian Muslims said in 2011 they had confidence in the terrorist leader to do the right thing in world affairs, a nearly 20 percent drop since 2009. In 2003, 72 percent of Palestinians voiced support for bin Laden; Turkey showed the least support that year, with 15 percent.

Indonesian Muslims showed a decline from 41 percent of in favor of bin Laden in 2007, to 26 percent in 2011, while 22 percent of Egyptians and 13 percent of Muslims in Jordan voiced their confidence in the al-Qaida chief.

Bin Laden had almost no support among Turkish (3%) or Lebanese Muslims (1%).

The survey showed how support for the al-Qaida leader had dropped drastically across the board since 2003, with the greatest decline occurring in Jordan, where the support for bin Laden dropped from 56 percent in 2003 to 13 percent in the current poll.

Palestinian Muslims offered more positive opinions of the terror group relatively, (28% favorable), but about more than 68 percent of the Muslim population viewed al-Qaida unfavorably.