Attitudes toward suicide bombing in Pakistan.

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Although suicide bombing is a historical phenomenon, there has been a recent upsurge in such incidents. In Pakistan, over the last year, more than 1,000 people have been killed in suicide bombing incidents. Assessing the attitudes and perceptions of people toward suicide bombing can help understand some of the root causes of this phenomenon. In this pilot study, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of people (N = 215) in Karachi, Pakistan, to assess their attitudes and perceptions toward suicide bombing. The majority of the respondents condemned suicide bombing and disagreed with the notion that Islam or any other religion supports it. Belonging to the Sunni Muslim sect and strong adherence to religion predicted support for suicide bombing. The majority believed suicide bombing to be a result of religious fundamentalism. Opinion was divided as to whether suicide bombers have an underlying psychiatric illness. Further studies with larger sample sizes are needed to determine the attitudes and perceptions of the Pakistani population regarding this important issue.

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