With all the upheaval in the Middle East a poll, the first of its kind, was conducted in 12 Arab countries representing 84 percent of the population of the Arab world. And in general it isn’t pretty, as technically the data is already a year old. With the rise of the Brotherhood and the Islamists, I would say all bets are off. They are even hunting down EMO kids in Iraq.
Organized by the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS), face-to-face interviews by Arab surveyors with 16,731 individuals in the first half of 2011 revealed majority support for the goals of the Arab revolutions and notably, for a democratic system of government. But not the type of democratic government we envision, but ultimately one Arab nation. Countries surveyed included Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania, with the help of local institutions and research centers.
Awaiting the publication of the report in English, here are the poll’s main conclusions:
- A majority describe themselves as religious, but they mostly don’t support the interference of religious authorities in citizens’ political choices.
- 71 per cent say they don’t distinguish between religious and non-religious people in their economic and social relations.
- 77 per cent trust their military, half trust their police, 47 per cent trust their governments and 36 per cent trust their local councils before the revolutions.
- A high 83 per cent believe corruption is widespread in their countries.
- Only 19 per cent see their states implement the law equally among its citizens.
- Three quarters of those polled believe that Arab states should take measures to bring their nations closer. An equal percentage believes that states should lift restrictions on free travel and 67 per cent are not satisfied with Arab-Arab co-operation.
- Contrary to mainstream global media coverage, 73 per cent of those polled see Israel and the US as the two most threatening countries. Five per cent see Iran as the most threatening, a percentage that varies between countries and regions.
- A high 84 per cent believe the Palestinian question is the cause of all Arabs and not the Palestinians only.
- A high 84 per cent reject the notion of their state’s recognition of Israel and only 21 per cent support, to a certain degree, the peace agreement signed between Egypt, Jordan and the PLO with Israel. Less than a third agree with their government’s foreign policy.
- When it comes to WMD, 55 per cent support a region free of nuclear weapons and 55 per cent see Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons as justifying there possession by other countries in the region.
All the more proof Israel needs our support more than ever. Caliphate anyone?
by Jeff Treesh/IranAware
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