One in 10 Muslims in Kyrgyzstan Say Killing Civilians Is Sometimes Justified

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April 26 2013 6:00 AM

In Kyrgyzstan, 1 in 10 Muslims Say Killing Civilians Is Sometimes Justified

Opinions on suicide bombings from the Tsarnaev brothers’ home region.

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Most Muslims in Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s homeland region say that violence against civilians in defense of Islam is “never justified,” according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Still, 1 in 10 Muslims in Kyrgyzstan, the politically tumultuous Central Asian country and former Soviet state where the brothers spent about eight years of their childhood, say that it is “sometimes” or “often” justified, the survey shows. Extrapolating from Pew’s 2010 Muslim population estimates, that means about 500,000 Muslim Kyrgyzstanis hold this view.

The brothers lived in Kyrgyzstan from 1993 to 2001, when the family moved to Dagestan, a Russian state in the North Caucasus region. They lived there about a year, and Tamerlan returned there for a six-month period in 2012. Only about 3 percent of Muslims in the North Caucasus believe killing civilians is ever justified, which is lower than Russia as a whole, according to the survey. Read the full study here.

Read more on Slate about the Boston Marathon bombing.

Heather Brady is a former Slate interactives intern.

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