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ISIL Public Support

In August 2014 a public opinion survey by ICM Research, asked people in Germany, France, and the UK whether they had a favorable or unfavorable view of ISIS. In France, 16 percent of those surveyed said they supported ISIS. A recent Ifop poll placed French president Francois Hollandes approval rating at just 18%. In France, that number gets even larger as the demographics get younger - in France, a total of 27% between the ages of 18-27 supported ISIS. But in the UK, the level of support was highest among those age 35-44, with 11% expressing support. In Germany, support was in the range of only 3% across all age groups.

A survey by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion in August 2014 asked Gazans whether they support or oppose ISIS. Only 13 percent expressed support, while 85 percent of polled Gazans said they oppose ISIS. Though Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued that ISIS is indistinguishable from Hamas, the Palestinian group that rules Gaza, Palestinians in Gaza see a strong distinction.

Surveys on political topics are a rarity in Saudi Arabia, but a 2009 poll conducted there found that 20 percent expressed a "somewhat favorable" or "favorable" view of al-Qaeda. In July 2014 the Sakina Campaign, which operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da'wah and Guidance in Saudi Arabia, announced plans to carry out a scientific survey to determine the position of the Saudi public on the "caliphate" announced by the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria. This came after the results of an opinion poll of Saudis were released on social networking sites, claiming that 92% of the target group believed that "IS conforms to the values of Islam and Islamic law."

Overwhelmingly, Muslims from a number of countries hold negative views of the Islamic State group, a November 2015 found. The survey by the Pew Research Center was conducted in 11 countries with significant Muslim populations, including several in the Middle East and Africa. In no country surveyed did more than 15 percent of the population show favorable attitudes toward Islamic State, Pew said in its summary of the survey, which was conducted earlier this year.

Six in 10 or more had unfavorable opinions of IS in a diverse group of nations, including Indonesia, Turkey, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Malaysia and Senegal, Pew said. In Lebanon, a country bordering IS stronghold Syria, nearly everyone surveyed showed an unfavorable opinion about the militant group, including 99 percent with very unfavorable views.

Israelis [97 percent] and Jordanians [94 percent] were also strongly opposed to IS including 91 percent of Israeli Arabs, Pew said in a statement. And 84 percent in the Palestinian territories had a negative view of IS, both in the Gaza Strip [92 percent] and the West Bank [79 percent].

"In 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."




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