Fear And Loathing In The Middle East

Refugees Fleeing ISIS Offensive Pour Into Kurdistan

New survey data reveal that worries about Islamic extremism are on the rise:

Concerns have increased significantly over the last two years in Jordan and Turkey, both of which share a border with Syria. Roughly six-in-ten Jordanians (62%) are concerned about extremism in their country, up 13 percentage points since 2012. Just half of Turks hold this view, but this is up 18 percentage points from two years ago. More than eight-in-ten Israelis (84%) express worries about Islamic extremism, although this view is more common among Israeli Jews (87%) than among Israeli Arabs (66%).

Meanwhile, al-Qaeda is broadly despised, Nigerians hate Boko Haram, and Pakistanis can’t stand the Taliban. Groups like Hezbollah and Hamas are also seeing their popularity decline notably:

More than half in the Palestinian territories (53%) have an unfavorable view of Hamas, with only about a third (35%) expressing positive views. Negative views are higher in the Hamas-led Gaza Strip (63%), up from 54% in 2013. In the Fatah-led West Bank, 47% have an unfavorable opinion of Hamas. Opinions of Hamas have been deteriorating in the Palestinian territories since it took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007. Then, 62% of Palestinians had a favorable view of the extremist group, while a third had negative views. Now, only about a third have positive opinions and more than half view Hamas negatively.

(Photo: Iraqis who have fled recent fighting in the cities of Mosul and Tal Afar try to enter a temporary displacement camp in Khazair, Iraq but are blocked by Kurdish soldiers on July 2, 2014. The families, many with small and sick children, have no shelter and little water and food. The displacement camp at Khazair is now home to an estimated 1,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs) with the number rising daily. Tens of thousands of people have fled Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul after it was overrun by ISIS militants. Many have been temporarily housed at various IDP camps around the region including the area close to Erbil, as they hope to enter the safety of the nearby Kurdish region. By Spencer Platt/Getty Images.)