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ISIS: Recent Al Jazeera poll suggests 81% of Arab Muslims support ISIS, the Al Jazeera Arabic media network web site, recently conducted an online poll asking the question, “Do you support the organizing victories of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria?”  Thirty-eight thousand people across the Arab world responded to the poll and a shocking 81 percent of those polled came back with an answer of “Yes.”

This poll should be taken with a grain of salt for many reasons.  First, Al Jazeera has a well-documented track record of sympathizing with radical Islamic extremists.  The network is run by the royal family of Qatar, which has been accused several times of directly funding the Islamic State.

A similar poll was released by Al Jazeera following the tragic events of 9/11, and 50 percent of respondents voiced support for Osama bin Laden.  Words like “terrorism” and “insurgency” are rarely mentioned on the network and are often replaced with “resistance” or “struggle.”

The second reason to question this poll is that it took place online.  It is very difficult to track any background information when surveying people online and it is nearly impossible to prevent anyone from voting more than once or from sharing it with ideologically similar friends.

However, despite the possibility that 81 percent might not be the exact figure, it is still surprisingly high.  Even if the poll is off by 30 percent in terms of how most Muslims in the Arab world feel, that still means that half the people in the Middle East are sympathetic toward ISIS. That would completely contradict the popular claim that the “vast majority” of Muslims are peace-loving people who abhor terrorism.


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