This Arab youth survey highlights the dangers of desperation

…. Even Tunisia, considered the most successful example, and awarded the 2015 Nobel peace prize for its civil society’s efforts to avoid civil war through implementing dialogue between rival political parties, is challenged by terror and the exapansionism of Isis. It is claimed that the country is the biggest exporter of jihadis to Syria and Iraq. The rapid spread of the terrorist group suggests that the vast majority of young Arabs are poised and ready to join Isis.

But the Arab Youth Survey refutes that claim. Conducted to explore attitudes among Arab youth in 16 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, the survey found that an overwhelming majority of young Arabs reject Isis and believe that the group will fail in its aim of establishing an Islamic state.

Rather, the group surveyed believes that the biggest obstacles facing the region are unemployment, lack of democracy, rising living costs and civil unrest. Only 13% of the 3,500 interviewed agreed with the statement: “If Isis did not use so much violence, I could see myself supporting it”; 78% rejected it while 9% were unsure about their position. And the majority of those interviewed perceive the lack of jobs and unemployment as the top reason for joining Isis. [707 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 208 votes] A “world dominated by exploitation”? Really Guardian? Is that really the cause of Islamic terrorism, and the economic and social malaise affecting the Muslim world? What about stifling religion, bad leadership, lack of democracy, lack of transparency, lack of protection for fundamental rights, lack of respect for religious minorities, lack of respect for women, and a tendency to blame problems on others? Those are the real problems, not some unnamed rapacious capitalists.

[2ND 162] A part of this seemingly perpetual state of economic decline and stagnation in Arab countries might have something to do with the fact that companies and people don’t want to do business there. Who in their right mind would want to take their family to a region where wives and daughters are seen as second class citizens and people are executed for saying they don’t believe in God? Arabs should look at themselves first and foremost and put their own house in order.

[3RD 148] I’m all for fighting poverty, but it’s not the main reason for islamism.

[4TH 137] So, one in every 10 young Muslims DOES support Isis.

And who do the other 9 support ? el-nusra?

India is very poor and has plenty of corruption, yet they don’t blow up air ports.

Vietnam is poor as dirt, and when it comes to foreign intervention, they had more then their fair share, yet they too don’t seem to be running around the globe shooting up places.

Desperation is not causing their situation, it is the result of it. [Guardian Cif] Read more

The 8th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2016 was conducted by international polling firm “Penn Schoen Berland (PSB)” to explore attitudes among Arab youth in 16 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. PSB conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews from January 11 and February 22, 2016 with Arab men and women in the age group of 18 to 24. The interviews were completed in Arabic and English.

How the ‘Arab Youth Survey’ was skewed – Emirati poll has problems with methodology

The annual Arab Youth Survey has been getting a lot of media attention since its findings were published earlier this month. Worldwide, it has generated a couple of hundred news items and three Emirati newspapers – Gulf News, The National and Khaleej Times – have produced no fewer than 17 items between them. In the US, the Washington Post alone has had three articles about it (here, here and here).

Much of this coverage has focused on the survey’s not-very-surprising “discovery” that the vast majority of young Arabs interviewed disapprove of IS and have no intention of joining it. Some of the other findings are more interesting – for example, that a majority of youth in the GCC states (57%) support the nuclear deal with Iran. The introduction to the survey adds:

…. At first sight, the Arab Youth Survey is a serious piece of research but its credibility and independence are somewhat undermined by its links to the United Arab Emirates and by another of the survey’s reported findings – that young Arabs view the UAE as “a model country that is economically secure, and is the most favoured nation to live in and set up a business”. It is the fifth year running that the survey has come up with this result. [] Read more

New poll finds young Arabs are less swayed by the Islamic State

Two years after proclaiming a new “caliphate” for Muslims in the Middle East, the Islamic State is seeing a steep slide in support among the young Arab men and women it most wants to attract, a new poll shows.

Overwhelming majorities of Arab teens and young adults now strongly oppose the terrorist group, the survey suggests, with nearly 80 percent ruling out any possibility of supporting the Islamic State, even if it were to renounce its brutal tactics.

A year ago, about 60 percent expressed that view, according to the 16-country survey released Tuesday.

“Tacit support for the militant group is declining,” concludes a summary report by the poll’s sponsor, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, a public relations firm that has tracked young Arabs’ views in annual surveys for the past eight years. Other recent surveys have found similarly high disapproval rates for the Islamic State among general populations in Muslim-majority countries. [The Washington Post] Read more