Study: 1 in 10 in M'sia supports ISIS

Study: 1 in 10 in M'sia supports ISIS

More than one in 10 people in Malaysia hold favourable views of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) despite the atrocities the terrorist group has committed, says a Pew Research Centre study.

In a study of Muslims' attitude towards ISIS, support level for the group in Malaysia was tied for second place with Senegal among 11 nations with significant Muslim populations polled, reported the Malay Mail.

The Pew Research Centre gleaned the information from its 2015 Global Attitudes survey.

A quarter of respondents in Malaysia also said they "don't know" how they viewed ISIS, despite Putrajaya declaring the group to be a terrorist organisation.

But a large majority of respondents viewed ISIS dimly in most countries.

Expressed support for ISIS was higher only in Nigeria, home to Boko Haram, the current deadliest terrorist organisation as rated by the Institute of Economics and Peace's Global Terrorism Index 2015 released this week.

In Indonesia - the largest Muslim country in the world by population - 79 per cent of respondents said they were against ISIS, with just 4 per cent saying they were positive about the organisation.

These findings come at a time when Malaysia is grappling with the spread of ISIS ideology among locals, with increasing arrests reported over suspected links to the terrorist group that claimed responsibility for the recent deadly attacks in Paris.

To date, more than 100 people suspected of militant activities have been detained by Malaysian police.

This article was first published on Nov 23, 2015.
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