Rebuttal: Politics

Muslims condemn Terrorism


posted by Sulaiman Razvi

Muslims are often criticized for not condemning terrorist attack perpetrated by ‘Fellow’ Muslims. Islamophobes gives this statement even when thousands of Muslim scholars and millions of Muslims condemn terrorism. Interestingly, more number of Muslim scholars have condemned terrorism so far than the total strength of ISIS terrorists. But this doesn’t seem to convince Islamophobes that Muslims or Islam has nothing to do with terrorism because Islamophobes are bent on declaring every single Muslim to be a terrorist. Ironically even if a single terrorist says something against non Muslim then Islamophobes takes it as strong evidence of Islam’s intolerance towards non Muslims but they keep mum or ignore when hundreds and thousands of Muslim scholars condemn the wrong doings. ISIS has destroyed mosques belonging to both Shia and Sunni, killed Muslim scholars, vowed to destroy Muslim’s most holy site Kaba, kills more Muslims than non Muslims and yet Islamophobes calls them ‘Islamic’, Islam prohibits shedding blood of a Non Muslim leave aside killing Muslims. If a Muslim doesn’t condemn the terrorist attack then he is termed Terrorist or terrorist sympathizer and if a Muslim condemns the terrorist attack then Islamophobes calls him a liar ‘who is lying to further his religion’.


One of Manchester’s biggest mosques refuses to bury Salman Abedi’s body

More than 130 British imams refuse to bury London attackers

Normandy church attack: Muslim community refuse to bury French priest killer Adel Kermiche


‘Yes, Muslims condemn terror’: This woman proves it with 712-page Google doc


Saudi clerics declares ISIS terrorism a ‘heinous crime’ under  Sharia

ISIS is No 1 enemy of Islam says Saudi Grand Mufti

70 Muslim Clerics Issue Fatwa Against Violence And Terrorism in Indonesia after Church Attack

‘Let Them Die In A Bombing’: Kerala Families Whose Members Joined ISIS

‘I hope US bombs kill them’: A Kerala father disowns two sons who have joined ISIS in Afghanistan

Father calls Saifullah killed in Lucknow encounter a traitor, refuses to accept body

Indian Muslim body refuses to bury 9 killers

Barelvi fatwa: No burial prayer for terrorists

March in South Mumbai ahead of Eid-e-Milad condemns ISIS attacks

Jamaat e Islami to launch campaign against ISIS

Over 1,000 Indian Muslim scholars issue world’s biggest fatwa against ISIS

1,000 Muslim clerics urge UN to act against Saeed

Muslims say attack on Amarnath pilgrims ‘anti-Islamic’

At a Muslim event 70,000 Indian Muslim clerics issue Fatwa against ISIS, Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other terror groups and 1.5 million Muslims attending the event have signed the petition against terrorist attack

These numbers are more than the total strength of ISIS as reported by CIA in 2014.

Muslims say attack on Amarnath pilgrims ‘anti-Islamic’

Thousands of Muslims vow to fight terrorism at Ramzan prayer meet in Kerala

Muslim groups raise $500,000 for the victims of the Portland attacks

Cologne rally: As many as 10,000 Muslims to protest Islamic extremism

More than 30,000 Muslims converge for Britain’s largest annual Islamic gathering to reject hate
MORE than 30,000 Muslims joined together in the Hampshire countryside to raise the Union Flag and reject violence and extremism.


1,00,000 Muslim clerics in Bangladesh sign Fatwa against terrorism


The Big Lie About Muslim Silence on Terrorism

by Kamran Pasha

Today I had to refute yet again the Big Lie that hounds the Muslim community — that we fail to speak out and condemn terrorism.

I was being interviewed by the wonderful radio host Dr. Alvin Augustus Jones about my new novel Mother of the Believers. Dr. Jones is a deeply spiritual man whose show always features uplifting themes and speakers. And he went out of his way to make me feel welcome.

But as a good journalist, he had to ask the question he felt his audience wanted answered — “Why do mainstream Muslims fail to speak out against terrorism?

It is a question that I get almost every single day, and it leaves me flabbergasted. I often respond to that question with one of my own — “Why does the media fail to report on Muslims who condemn terrorism?”

Since before 2001, every single major Muslim group in the United States has been outspoken in their condemnation of terrorism and the murder of innocent people in the name of Islam. And yet the media ignores it. Every single time.

Don’t believe me?

Go here

That site lists links to dozens of major Muslims group and Islamic scholars who have condemned terrorism as a violation of the fundamental moral precepts of Islam.

Want more?

Here’s a compilation of Islamic fatwas against terrorism by Juan Cole
, scholar of the Middle East and author of Engaging the Muslim World.

Cole’s list was compiled after Thomas Friedman wrote an outrageous column in The New York Times claiming that “no major Muslim cleric or religious body has ever issued a fatwa condemning Osama Bin Laden.”

Friedman knew (or should have known as an alleged Middle East expert) that what he was saying was a lie. But he chose to publish this garbage anyway, giving it the full credibility of the Times.

What was so shocking was that Friedman’s column was published on July 8, 2005. But three months before, on March 11, 2005, a group of Spanish imams issued a fatwa against Osama Bin Laden:

here and here

So what is going on here?

As one of the few Muslims who has worked inside Hollywood for the past 7 years as a writer and producer, I can only explain this shocking lie that has become a national meme as the product of an intentional media agenda.

There is a real political agenda inside the media itself to keep Islam as the enemy, and to portray mainstream Muslims as a fifth column inside America. The idea that your Muslim neighbors are silently supporting Bin Laden sells newspapers. It captures the attention of viewers of the nightly news. And it furthers the ambitions of politicians who need a rallying point to get votes.

As a Muslim and a patriot I don’t know what more to do except continue telling the truth every time I get the opportunity.

But I ask my non-Muslim friends this question. How would you feel if your community was being falsely portrayed as being sympathetic to murderers by the media? How would you feel if every single thing you do to condemn and fight such criminals is intentionally ignored? What would you conclude about the character and motivation of people that continue to spread a lie against millions of your fellow human beings?

If you can take a moment to consider, you might get a sense of the true burden your Muslim neighbors carry. The world wants us to be the monsters. When we condemn and fight the monsters, no one notices or cares. It’s like the army telling a soldier who has just survived a hellish firefight that he was never in the war in the first place, and condemning him for his cowardice.

It would be a formula for despair for most people. And yet what is remarkable is that Muslim groups continue to patiently work against terrorism in accordance with their faith, even though they receive no credit for their deeds. They are secure that everything is in the hands of God. And, as the Holy Qur’an says, that the light of truth will never be put out by the mouths of liars.

Last year, I attended the Pilgrimage to Mecca, a powerful, life-changing event that I chronicled on my personal blog at

One of the most remarkable stories that I heard when I was there was the tale of Abraham, who Muslims believe founded the first settlement at Mecca with his son Ishmael. The Angel Gabriel appeared to him and told Abraham to climb a mountain and call mankind to God.

Abraham was incredulous, and responded that there was no one in the barren desert valley except him and his family. Who would hear the call?

And Gabriel smiled and said: “Just call mankind to the truth. God will make sure it is heard.”



In response to this article, the new meme is being promulgated: “Muslims condemn terrorism, but it’s all talk! Sure, Muslims say they condemn terrorism, but there’s no action!”

Where do I begin to respond to this kind of nonsense? There are 1. 5 billion Muslims living their lives in peace, trying to put food on the table for their families. Over six million of them live here in America as patriotic citizens. They work hard, pay their taxes, and have ZERO contact with the criminal underworld where these terrorists breed.

I have never, ever met a terrorist in real life (it is ridiculous that I even have to say this). If I met one, I would turn him in to the authorities, as would every other Muslim I know. Since I don’t have access to this shadowy underworld, I live my life on the surface in broad daylight, working in my community to promote interfaith cooperation, peace and prosperity. It is that grassroots effort that Muslims do to promote good in this world that receives ZERO coverage in the media. I could list every single good thing I and other Muslims have ever done to make the world a better, safer place, but people who hold this attitude don’t care. It will never be enough. If I listed 1 million positive things Muslims are doing in their daily lives today on this planet, they would respond: “Why can’t you name a billion things you’ve done? See, you’re not doing enough!”

So I ask those who are outraged at this supposed Muslim inaction: “What have YOU done to defeat racism in this world?” List every single thing you have ever done to fight the Ku Klux Klan. List it here, right now. Times, dates and hyperlinks please. The response would be that I am crazy — average Americans have nothing to do with the KKK, and don’t need to justify their daily actions in support of righteousness to me or anyone else. But that same common sense response is rejected when a Muslim uses it.

The terrorists are a few thousand criminals (less than 0.01% of the Muslim population). They act in secret, in a shadowy underworld that is more like the Mafia than a public organization that holds meetings and takes minutes. Asking Muslims to list how they are fighting Al-Qaeda is like asking a pizza store owner what he is doing to destroy the Mafia.

Muslims fight these monsters by publicly denouncing them, leading lives as law-abiding citizens, helping their communities, and trying to educate people about the loving and harmonious values of true Islam.

It is what I am doing here, every single day.

But for some people, it will never be enough,

So I respond in the way the Holy Qur’an teaches Muslims when they encounter ignorant people. I say to them: “Peace.”

Kamran Pasha is a Hollywood filmmaker and the author of Mother of the Believers, a novel on the birth of Islam as told by Prophet Muhammad’s wife Aisha (Atria Books; April 2009). For more information please visit:



List of Muslim leaders and Scholars condemning terrorism


This page focuses on condemnations of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and other terrorist incidents since then as well as of terrorism in general. It is not a complete listing of all condemnations written or spoken by Muslims but is intended to provide a representative sample.

It has often been claimed in the media that Muslims are “silent” and do not condemn terrorism. This page is intended to refute that claim. Muslims have not been silent. Not even close. See also How American Muslims Really Responded to September 11 for more information about the Muslim response to 9/11. And another listing is at Statements Against Terror. Also Muslim Voices Against Terrorism. Related commentary at Friedman Wrong About Muslims Again , by Juan Cole and The Myth of Muslim Condemnation of Terror by Ali Eteraz.


Muslim Leaders

A Message from the Council on American-Islamic Relations

American Muslim Leaders Condemn Attacks

American Muslims Denouncing Terrorism

American Muslims and Scholars Denounce Terrorism on Anniversary of 9/11

Australian Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attack

Bin Laden Distorts Islam, Islamic Scholars Say

Bin Laden’s Idea of ‘Jihad’ is Out of Bounds, Islamic Scholars Say

British Muslim leaders condemn terrorism

British Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks

Canadian Muslims Condemn Terorist Attacks

Islamic Statements Against Terrorism in the Wake of the September 11 Mass Murders

Islamic World Deplores U.S. Losses

Looking for Answers in Islam’s Holy Book: What Islamic Scholars Have to Say

Muslim Reactions to Sept 11

Muslim Voices Against Extremism & Terrorism – Part II – Statements by Organizations

Muslim World Condemns Attacks on U.S.

Muslim rulers condemn WTC attacks

New Zealand Muslims Condemn Terrorism

Organization of the Islamic Conference Foreign Ministers Condemn International Terrorism

Quran a Book of Peace Not War, Islamic Scholars Say

Scholars of Islam Condemn Terrorism

Some American Muslims Take a Look at Their Communities’ Shortcomings

U.S. Muslim Scholars Condemn Attacks

UK Muslim Leaders Condemn ‘Lunatic Fringe’

When is jihad OK? Muslim Perspectives


Specific Muslim Scholars

A Common Word Between Us and You, by 130 Islamic scholars

Attacks on Civilians: Forbidden by Islam, by Shaykh Yusuf Qaradawi

Ayatollah Muhammad Husain Fadlallah of Lebanon condemns Osama Bin Laden, by Ayatollah Muhammad Husain Fadlallah

Bin Laden’s Violence is a Heresy Against Islam, by AbdulHakim Murad (Tim Winter)

Defending the Civilians (a fatwa against terrorism), by Shaykh Muhammad Afifi al-Akiti

Expert Says Islam Prohibits Violence Against Innocents, by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar Condemns Suicide Bombings, by Shaykh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi

High Mufti of Russian Muslims calls for Extradition of Bin Laden, by Russian Muslim leaders

Iran’s Supreme Leader Condemns Attacks on U.S., by Ayatollah Ali Khamanei

Islam and the Question of Violence, by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Iranian scholar

Jihad and the Modern World, by Dr. Sherman Jackson

Jihad: Its True Meaning and Purpose, by Muzammil H. Siddiqui

Most Prominent Sunni Muslim Scholar Condemns Killing of Civilians, by Shaykh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University

Muslim Attitudes about Violence, by Shaykh Muhammad al-Munajjid

Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism – Part I – Fatwas, by various scholars

Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism – Part IV A few Quotes, by various scholars

On the Terrorist Attacks, by Imam Zaid Shakir

Prominent Pakistani Cleric Tahir ul Qadri condemns Bin Laden, by Tahir ul Qadri

Reclaiming Islam from the Terrorists, by AbdulHakim Murad, British scholar

Reflections on the National Horror of September 11, 2001, by Muzammil H. Siddiqui

Refutation of Bin Laden’s Defense of Terrorism, by Moiz Amjad, Pakistani scholar

Response to a Question about Islam and Terrorism, by Moiz Amjad, Pakistani scholar

Saudi Clerics Condemn Terrorism, by Sheikh Abderrahman al-Sudayes

Saudi Grand Mufti Condemns Terrorist Attacks in U.S., by Shaikh Abdulaziz Al-Ashaikh

Scholars’ Statements Regarding The Attacks In The United States, by Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Aali-Shaykh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and President of the Committee of Senior Scholars, and Shaykh Saleh Al-Lehaydaan, Chief Justice Of The Saudi Arabian Judiciary, and Shaykh Dr. Saaleh Ibn Ghaanem As-Sadlaan, Pres. Higher Studies Dept. Al-Imaam Muhammd Ibn Saud Islamic University

Spanish Muslim Clerical authorities Issue Fatwa against Osamah Bin Laden, by Spanish Muslim leaders

Terrorism Is at Odds With Islamic Tradition, by Khaled Abou El Fadl

Terrorism: Not a doorway to heaven, by Jamil Abdul Razzak Hajoo, of Idriss Mosque, Seattle

The Myth of Islamic Terrorism Exploded, by Shaykh Abdul Azeez bin Abdullah bin Baaz and Shaykh Muhammad Bin Saalih al Uthaymeen

The worst enemies of Islam are from within, by Hamza Yusuf

Top Saudi Cleric Says Attacks on U.S. a Terrible Crime in Islam, by Shaykh Salah al-Lahidan, head of the Islamic Judiciary of Saudi Arabia

Violence Against Innocents Violates Islamic Law, by Imam Siraj Wahhaj

What is jihad? What is terrorism?, by Statement by Muslim scholars


Individual Ordinary Muslims

Special links

A Country United– Poem by a Muslim woman about September 11

Islam Denounces Terrorism– Site of Muslim scholar Harun Yahya

Muslims Against Terrorism– An organization founded by Muslims who stand against the hijacking of Islam by extremists and terrorists

Report: Muslim Celebrities Condemn Attacks– Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), Muhammad Ali, Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets

Muslim charities who solicited donations to help victims in New York City:

Articles, essays, and columns

Here are some things I’ve written myself; some of these pages may also contain links to further condemnations of more recent events:
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And here are articles by other ordinary Muslims:

A Curse Upon the Brigands Who Kill Children, by Aziz Poonawalla

A Dastardly Act, by Ikram Seghal

A Muslim Surgeon’s Prayer for His Fellow Americans, by Aftab Ahmad

Amid simmering religious tension, Muslims denounce killing of Christian family, by (Associated Press report)

Area Muslims slam suicide bombing, by Washington Times report

Bin Laden’s Fatwa is a Call to Plunder Not Jihad, by Aziz H. Poonawalla

Defaming, Defiling, and Falsifying Islam: A Condemnation of al-Qaeda, by Frank M. Afflitto, convert to Islam

Does the Quran Sanction Violence?, by Mohamed Elmasry

Hirabah versus Jihad, by Robert D. Crane, convert to Islam

Horrified by What Happened in the U.S., by Ahmad Y. Majdoubeh

Human Nature at Its Worst, by Amir Meshkin

I Believe in Allah and America, by Arsalan Iftikhar

I’m Not the Enemy, by Reshma Memon Yaqub

Islam Demands a Muslim Response to 9/11 (PDF), by Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad

Islam condemns all acts of terrorism, by Daar-ul-Ehsaan

Islam is Not the Source of Terrorism, by Harun Yahya

Islam is Not to Blame, by Omar Sarwar

Islam is a Religion of Peace, Not Terrorism, by Muhammad Ali

Islam: A Home of Tolerance Not Fanaticism, by Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)

Islamic Scholars Should Speak Up for the Truth about Islam and Jihad, by Laila Nasheeba-Or

Jihad Means Waging Peace and Justice, by Mohamed Elmasry

May God Touch All of Us with His Infinite Grace, by Susan Abulhawa

Muslim scholars reach out to Pope, by BBC News

Muslims Must Not Let Terrorism Become the Voice of Islam, by Blerime Topalli

My Fatwa on the Fanatics, by Ziauddin Sardar

Not In My Name: A Treatise Against Religious Intolerance, by Richard L. Dixon, convert to Islam

Osama Bin Laden: An Enemy of Islam, by Muqtedar Khan

Press Release, by Khalid Usman, Councillor, Ward 7, Markham, Ontario

Salafi scholars condemn terrorism, by collected by Just your average Muslim

Some Misappropriations of Quranic Verses, by David Dakake, Islamic Research Institute (PDF)

Terror Is Not Islam, by Kari Ann Owen (convert to Islam)

The Meaning of Jihad, by Hesham Hassaballa

The Real Meaning of the Concept of Jihad, by Ahmed Motiar

Twin Towers Viewed from a Western Minaret: Thoughts of a Convert to Islam, by Michael Wolfe

Under Attack, by Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad

What Does the Quran’s ‘Verse of the Sword’ Really Mean?, by Hesham A. Hassaballa

When the innocent are murdered, we all go into the dark with them, by Ziauddin Sardar

Who Hijacked Islam, by Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysian dissident

World’s future hinges on peace between faiths, Islamic scholars tell Pope, by Riazat Butt and Martin Hodgson

Messages on Muslims’ Websites:

See also: Muslim Imam Offers Words of Prayer at World Trade Center Memorial Ceremony

Bonus: View This Is Islam: “Islam, it’s all about peace, terrorism it doesn’t teach”.


Ongoing: The Council on American-Islamic Relations

In an effort to show that Muslim activism against terrorism didn’t stop after 9/11, this section contains press releases and statements by the Council on American-Islamic Relations condemning terrorist attacks. This is a resource in development. Subscribe to CAIR’s mailing list to keep up with their latest statements and releases.

American Muslims Condemn Riyadh Bombings – May 23, 2003

CAIR Calls for Release of All Hostages in Iraq – Tuesday, September 21, 2004

CAIR Condemns ‘Barbaric’ London Terror Attacks – Thursday, July 07, 2005

CAIR Condemns Attack On Seattle Jewish Center – Saturday, July 29, 2006

CAIR Condemns Attack On U.S. Medical Personnel In Yemen – December 30, 2002

CAIR Condemns Attack on US Diplomatic Convoy in Gaza – October 15, 2003

CAIR Condemns Haifa Suicide Bombing – 10/04/2003

CAIR Condemns Hariri Assassination – Monday, February 14, 2005

CAIR Condemns Iraq Church Bombings – Sunday, August 01, 2004

CAIR Condemns Killing of British Hostage in Iraq – Friday, October 08, 2004

CAIR Condemns Murder of American in Saudi Arabia – Friday, June 18, 2004

CAIR Condemns Murder of Margaret Hassan – Wednesday, November 17, 2004

CAIR Condemns School Killings in Russia – Tuesday, September 07, 2004

CAIR Joins ‘Call to Action’ on Darfur Crisis – Tuesday, August 03, 2004

CAIR condemns Istanbul bombings – Thursday, November 20, 2003

CAIR condemns attacks on civilians – Thursday, March 28, 2002

CAIR condemns hostage-taking by Iraqi insurgents, calls for release of hostages – 4/9/2004

CAIR condemns killings in Iraq, Pakistan – Tuesday, March 02, 2004

CAIR condemns murder of American in Iraq – 5/11/2004

CAIR condemns mutilation of bodies in Iraq – Wednesday, March 31, 2004

CAIR statements on the events of September 11 – (various dates)

CAIR welcomes capture of Saddam Hussein – Sunday, December 14, 2003

CAIR-CAN Condemns Anti-Semitic Graffiti – August 25, 2004

CAIR-CAN Condemns Vandalism of Jewish Homes in Toronto – Friday, March 19, 2004

CAIR-CAN condemns Daniel Pearl killing – Friday, February 22, 2002

CAIR-CAN condemns bomb attack on Passover celebration in Israel – Thursday, March 28, 2002

CAIR-CAN condemns firebomb attack of Jewish school – Tuesday, April 06, 2004

CAIR-CAN condemns gang-rape of woman in Pakistan by tribal court – Friday, July 05, 2002

CAIR-CAN condemns hate graffiti on Edmonton synagogue – Wednesday, December 28, 2005

CAIR-CAN condemns killing of innocent Christian worshippers in Pakistan – Tuesday, October 30, 2001

CAIR-CAN: There is no justification for attacks on innocent people – Thursday, November 14, 2002

CAIR-NJ Offers Condolences to Coptic Community – Monday, January 17, 2005

CAIR: American Muslims Condemn Sectarian Mosque Bombing – 07/05/2003

Canadian Muslim scholars reject Bin Laden’s calls for jihad – Monday, October 15, 2001

Canadian Muslims Condemn Recent Khadr Comments That Excuse Terrorism – Friday, March 05, 2004

Canadian Muslims condemn 9/11 terrorist attacks – Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Canadian Muslims condemn anti-Jewish article – Monday, January 12, 2004

Canadian Muslims condemn church attack in Pakistan – Sunday, March 17, 2002

Canadian Muslims condemn vandalism of synagogues – Friday, April 12, 2002

Muslims Condemn Philippines Airport Bombing – Tuesday, March 04 2003

Muslims Offer Help for Victims of Terrorist Attacks – 9/11/01

Muslims condemn anti-Jewish article – Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Muslims condemn anti-Semitic article – 11/8/2002

Muslims to hold 9/11 vigil at U.S. Capitol – Thursday, August 28, 2003

Muslims urged to donate for D.C. sniper victims – Wednesday, October 16, 2002

U.S. Imams Say Iraq Hostage-Takers Violate Islamic Beliefs – Friday, October 29, 2004

U.S. Muslim Group Condemns bin Laden Videotape – 09/11/2003

U.S. Muslims Condemn Madrid Bombings – 03/11/2004

U.S. Muslims call for 9/11/02 “Day of Unity and Prayer” – Tuesday, July 23, 2002

US Muslims Condemn Terrorism in Ad Campaign – March 8, 2003

We repudiate terrorism – Ibrahim Hooper, July 11, 2007


Special: Muslims in the Military

Are American Muslims patriotic? Do they serve their country, or support America’s response to the terrorist attacks? Read these stories to find out more

Islam Gains Place in U.S. Military As Ranks of Muslims Grow

Islamic Scholars Say U.S. Muslim Soldiers Must Fight for Country

Muslim soldier dies in Iraq

Muslims In Military: Arab-American proudly serves U.S.

Muslims in military say ‘everybody belongs’

Muslims in the U.S. Military are As Loyal As Any, Chaplain Says

Ramadan a Sacred Time for U.S. Muslim Troops

Soldier of Faith

UK Muslims Must Obey UK Law, says Professor Muhammad Abdel Haleem

Plus: American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans


The Vast majority of Muslims HATE ISIS and Terrorism


The Times of India reported yesterday:

Nearly 70,000 [Muslim] clerics [from around the world] came together and passed a fatwa [i.e. Islamic legal decree] against terrorist organizations, including IS, Taliban and al-Qaida. These are “not Islamic organizations,” the clerics said to a sea of followers, adding that the members of these outfits were “not Muslims”.


As documented  by Metrocosm, what Americans assume about Muslim support for ISIS is very different from reality:

us perception of isis

According to a Brookings report from last January:

  • 40% of Americans believe most Muslims oppose ISIS.
  • 14% think most Muslims support ISIS.
  • And 44% (the plurality) of Americans believe Muslim views are evenly balanced on the issue.


Last month, the International Business Times cited a study from Pew Research Center concluding ISIS is “almost universally hated.”


What the Muslim world actually thinks of ISIS

Looking only at scientific opinion polls, the results are actually very consistent.

The figures in the map below come from surveys conducted by six different research organizations, covering a combined 20 countries in the Muslim world.


In the Muslim world, support for ISIS is low across the board.

In 15 of the 20 countries shown, support for ISIS is in the single digits. And with the exception of Syria, in no country is it greater than 15%.


Pew notes:

In Lebanon, a victim of one of the most recent attacks, almost every person surveyed who gave an opinion had an unfavorable view of ISIS, including 99% with a very unfavorable opinion. Distaste toward ISIS was shared by Lebanese Sunni Muslims (98% unfavorable) and 100% of Shia Muslims and Lebanese Christians.

Israelis (97%) and Jordanians (94%) were also strongly opposed to ISIS as of spring 2015, including 91% of Israeli Arabs. And 84% in the Palestinian territories had a negative view of ISIS, both in the Gaza Strip (92%) and the West Bank (79%).

Indeed, as we’ve previously point out, Muslim leaders have been speaking out against Islamic terrorism for years … but we never hear about it from the mainstream American media.

Father Elias Mallon of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association remarks:

“Why aren’t Muslims speaking out against these atrocities?” The answer is: Muslims have been speaking out in the strongest terms, condemning the crimes against humanity committed by [extremists] in the name of Islam.

And Rabbi Marc Schneier notes in the Washington Post that the moderate Muslim majority is speaking out against the extremists … but “we’re just not listening.”


In nations with significant Muslim populations, much disdain for ISIS

Source: PEW Research

By Jacob Poushter


Views of ISIS Overwhelmingly NegativeRecent attacks in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have once again brought terrorism and Islamic extremism to the forefront of international relations. According to newly released data that the Pew Research Center collected in 11 countries with significant Muslim populations, people from Nigeria to Jordan to Indonesia overwhelmingly expressed negative views of ISIS.

One exception was Pakistan, where a majority offered no definite opinion of ISIS. The nationally representative surveys were conducted as part of the Pew Research Center’s annual global poll in April and May this year.

In no country surveyed did more than 15% of the population show favorable attitudes toward Islamic State. And in those countries with mixed religious and ethnic populations, negative views of ISIS cut across these lines.

In Lebanon, a victim of one of the most recent attacks, almost every person surveyed who gave an opinion had an unfavorable view of ISIS, including 99% with a very unfavorable opinion. Distaste toward ISIS was shared by Lebanese Sunni Muslims (98% unfavorable) and 100% of Shia Muslims and Lebanese Christians.

Israelis (97%) and Jordanians (94%) were also strongly opposed to ISIS as of spring 2015, including 91% of Israeli Arabs. And 84% in the Palestinian territories had a negative view of ISIS, both in the Gaza Strip (92%) and the West Bank (79%). 

Six-in-ten or more had unfavorable opinions of ISIS in a diverse group of nations, including Indonesia, Turkey, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Malaysia and Senegal.

Views of ISIS by Religion, Ethnicity and RegionIn Nigeria, there was somewhat more support for ISIS (14% favorable) compared with other countries, but attitudes differed sharply by religious affiliation. An overwhelming number of Nigerian Christians (71%) had an unfavorable view of ISIS, as did 61% of Nigerian Muslims. However, 20% of Nigerian Muslims had a favorable view of ISIS when the poll was conducted in the spring of this year. The group Boko Haram in Nigeria, which has been conducting a terrorist campaign in the country for years, is affiliated with ISIS, though the two are considered separate entities.

Only 28% in Pakistan had an unfavorable view of ISIS, and a majority of Pakistanis (62%) had no opinion on the extremist group.

While we did not ask people in Western nations about their views of ISIS, half or more of people in 15 mostly Western countries said they were very concerned about ISIS as an international threat. In France, the target of multiple coordinated attacks in Paris last week, 71% said before the attacks that they were very concerned about the ISIS threat. Similar shares of the public in other nations also expressed serious concern, including 77% of Spanish, 70% of Germans, 69% of Italians and 68% of Americans. In Lebanon and Jordan, nations that are taking in refugees from the ISIS conflict in Syria and whose people have been victims of mass terrorist incidents, 84% and 62% also said they were very concerned about the group.

General concern about Islamic extremism has been growing in many Western and predominantly Muslim nations surveyed since earlier in the decade. And as a reaction to this threat, there was widespread support for U.S. military actions against ISIS in Iraq and Syria from most of the countries surveyed in the spring, including majorities in Israel (84%), France (81%), the U.S. (80%), Lebanon (78%), Jordan (77%), the UK (66%) and Germany (62%).

Note: See here for topline results on views of ISIS in these 11 nations and methodology.

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