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mattbrowne's avatar

What are some reliable sources to find out how many Muslims think that the 9/11 attacks were justified?

Asked by mattbrowne (31633points) July 8th, 2012

Out of the 1.57 billion Muslims on our planet, how many think that the mass murder on September 11, 2001 was completely justified or in some way justified?

By accident I found an article printed by the Weekly Standard in 2008:

“Gallup says only 7 percent of the world’s Muslims are political radicals. Yet 36 percent think the 9/11 attacks were in some way justified.”

“The full data from the 9/11 question show that, in addition to the 13.5 percent, there is another 23.1 percent of respondents (300 million Muslims) who told pollsters the attacks were in some way justified.”

How accurate are these numbers? Do they make sense? Are there other polls corroborating or refuting these numbers?

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7 Answers

whitenoise's avatar

We would need to know a lot more about the question and its framing, to be able to interpret the answers.For as far as I understand, this answer represents the middle of a scale in which “Ones” are respondents who said 9/11 was “totally unjustified” and “Fives” those who said the attacks were “completely justified.

I don’t think that believing that the attacks were somewhat justified is such an extreme position, per se. One could think of the attacks as if they were somewhat justified while still thinking that they were overall appalling and reprehensible.

One might, for instance understand the reasons behind the attack while still disagreeing with the fact that it was carried out.

As such, I think this question was setup extremely poor; way too poor to base any conclusion on it, other than that those answering with a 5 are indeed likely holding extremist views. I find it hard to conclude the same, for those that answered 1 through 4, as well as any conclusion that they are not.

A respondent may for instance see no justification at all in attacking the twin towers, while still believing that something like suicide bombs and martyrdom are perfectly OK in their local struggle.

AdamF's avatar

Approximately 17 million Muslims support Al Qaeda in Egypt alone. Supposedly that’s an “improvement”.

athenasgriffin's avatar

This is anecdotal, but I lived in an area (in the United States) with an extremely large Muslim population, and the Muslims in that area condemned the 9/11 attack and the thinking that inspired it. I don’t think most Muslims in the United States have much similarity of opinion with terrorism.

But here is a source about the difficulties that Muslim-Americans face because some people think they are sympathetic to terrorists or are terrorists.

whitenoise's avatar

I just realized I had seen this publication:

Views of Extremist Groups % Favorable
—————————Hezbollah—- Hamas—- al Qaeda

Jordan—————————55%—- 60%—- 34%
Lebanon———————— 52%—- 49%—- 3 %
Nigeria—————————45%—- 49%—- 49%
Indonesia———————- 43%—- 39%—- 23%
Egypt—————————- 30%—- 49%—- 20%
Pakistan————————19%—- 18% pm
Turkey—————————- 5%—- 9%—- 4%

Based on Muslims only. Pakistani views of al Qaeda not shown because the question was asked later in the survey, which may affect the comparability of results. For al Qaeda ratings in Pakistan, see “Concern About Extremist Threat Slips in Pakistan,” released July 29, 2010. PEW RESEARCH CENTER Q7n-p.

Whether it is reliable… be your own judge.

Bagardbilla's avatar

I’d be more interested to know how what percentage of the world’s population thinks 9/11 attacks were justified.

flutherother's avatar

The Weekly Standard has taken these figures out of context. One of the main findings of the Gallup report it quotes from is that ‘Muslims and Americans are equally likely to reject attacks on civilians as morally unjustified.’

mattbrowne's avatar

Thanks, everyone!

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