Pakistanis Want Larger Role for Both Islam and Democracy
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Majority Reject 'Talibanization' and Favor Reform of Madrassas Growing Perception that US Threatens Islam WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- An in-depth survey of Pakistani public opinion reveals majority support for a moderate and democratic Islamic state, though a small but significant minority shows sympathy for Islamist militant groups. Most Pakistanis want Islam to play a larger role in Pakistani society. However, a majority also favors a more democratic political system, rejects 'Talibanization," and supports recent government efforts to reform the madrassah system by focusing more on science and mathematics. Majorities have little sympathy for Islamist military groups and most would like to see the Federally Administered Tribal Areas integrated into Pakistan. The survey also found that Pakistani attitudes toward the United States are negative and that there is a growing perception that the United States is hostile toward Islam. The survey was conducted from Sept. 12-18, just before President Pervez Musharraf declared a six-week state of emergency and before the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The sample included 907 Pakistani urban adults, selected using multi-stage probability sampling, who were interviewed at home in 19 cities. The margin of error is +/- 3.3 percent. It was conducted by WorldPublicOpinion.org (http://www.worldpublicopinion.org) in collaboration with, and with financial support from, the U.S. Institute of Peace (http://www.usip.org). Steven Kull, director of WorldPublicOpinion.org comments, "While Pakistan is racked by conflict between leaders and groups vying for power, this poll indicates that most Pakistanis largely agree on what kind of state they want and on how they want the government to deal with the many challenges it faces." C. Christine Fair, senior research fellow of the US Institute of Peace (now at RAND) observes, "With Pakistan as perhaps the most important country in the war on terrorism, the good news is that majorities of Pakistanis view most militant groups in Pakistan as a threat. The bad news is that many Pakistanis view the U.S. with great suspicion. " A briefing on the poll findings and implications will take place at the US Institute of Peace, Washington DC, on January 7 from 2:00 - 4:00pm. SOURCE WorldPublicOpinion.org Steven Kull of WorldPublicOpinion.org, +1-202-232-7500; or C. Christine Fair of the U.S. Institute of Peace, cell: +1-202-460-9295
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