Thanks to ISIS’ activities in Syria and Iraq and its associated terror attacks in Europe, the antipathy that some young Arabs have toward the West is a subject of major global concern. A new survey of Middle Eastern and North African Arabs between the ages of 18 and 24, though, indicates that even theoretical support for ISIS’ goals is currently very limited in that demographic—and that two-thirds of young Arabs believe in the need to expand human rights for all the area’s citizens, including women.
The Arab Youth Survey 2016 was conducted by the U.S. polling firm Penn Schoen Berland, which is part of the global PR-communications giant Burson-Marsteller. The company surveyed 3,500 individuals via face-to-face interviews in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia, and Yemen. Fifty percent of respondents called ISIS the biggest problem facing the Middle East:
Meanwhile, 78 percent said they would not support the group’s goals even if it became less violent:
Here’s the question on women’s rights:
With significant exceptions, the U.S. is generally seen as an ally rather than an enemy.
Among the poll’s less heartening results: Majorities or pluralities* of respondents believe that Sunni-Shia relations are getting worse, that the Arab world is worse off now than it was before the Arab Spring, and that simply creating stability is currently a more important goal than promoting democracy. See the entire survey here.
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