About a third of the Lebanese public (34%) now feels that suicide bombings may at least sometimes be justified in the defense if Islam, a 40-point decline from the 74% who took this view in 2002 and part of a larger trend among most Muslim countries surveyed in the latest Pew Global Attitudes Survey. In Lebanon, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia, the proportion of Muslims who view suicide bombing and other attacks against civilians as being often or sometimes justified has declined by half or more over the past five years. Wide majorities say such attacks are, at most, rarely acceptable. However, this is decidedly not the case in the Palestinian territories. Fully 70% of Palestinians believe that suicide bombings against civilians can be often or sometimes justified, a position starkly at odds with Muslims in other Middle Eastern, Asian, and African nations. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.