Religion

Munich Security Conference 2020 Arab Disillusionment

After the Arab spring back in 2011, the political Islam was one of the loudest voices – today, more young people turn away from religion They came late, but finally benefited from the change: While mass demonstrations faded away one authoritarian regime after the other back in 2011, the preachers were missing on the streets, who wanted to sort the…

Young Arabs are Changing their Beliefs and Perceptions: New Survey

Less religious and less likely to be following religious leaders: these are the findings of a survey conducted among youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by the Arab Barometer, a pollster surveying the main social and economic trends in the region. The main findings were published by The Economist on 5 December 2019, showing that ‘across the…

A New Secularism Is Appearing in Islam

Across much of the Islamic world, many Muslims are disillusioned with the ugly things done in the name of their religion. For decades, social scientists studying Islam discussed whether this second biggest religion of the world would go through the major transformation that the biggest one, Christianity, went through: secularization. Would Islam also lose its hegemony over public life, to…

Writing the Next Chapters of Morocco and Algeria

Morocco is no stranger to protests, but its situation differs from that of Algeria. A recent article on the BBC using data from the Arab Barometer survey asked the question, “Could Morocco see the next uprising after Sudan and Algeria?” While it was selective in its choice of data points, for example, attitudes toward religion, the point of the article, which…

Arabs are losing faith in religious parties and leaders

“No to religion or sect,” cry the protesters in Iraq. “No to Islam, no to Christianity, revolt for the nation,” echo those in Lebanon. Across the Arab world people are turning against religious political parties and the clerics who helped bring them to power. Many appear to be giving up on Islam, too. These trends are reflected in new data from…

Islam, Religious Outlooks, and Support for Democracy

Despite a wealth of studies examining Muslim religiosity and democracy, uncertainty regarding Islam and attitudes toward democracy remains. Although the claims concerning the incompatibility of Islam and democracy are generally discarded, public opinion scholarship has yet to build much further from this important first step or incorporate a strong theoretical framework for analysis beyond this basic foundation. This paper seeks…

Determinants of Arab public opinion on the Caliphate: Islamist elites, religiosity and socioeconomic conditions

What are the determinants of public opinion on the issue of the Caliphate in the Arab world? My answer to this question outlines the key role played by Islamist elites, religiosity and age in influencing Arab opinion on the issue of the Caliphate in three countries during the early Age of Islamism (1980s–1990s). I do so by using Binary Logistic…

The Road Not Taken: Fostering Research on the Psychology of Religiosity and Spirituality via Underused Representative, Open-Access Datasets (ROADs)

Psychologists studying religiosity and spirituality (R/S) often face several challenges when conducting their research, such as collecting data from nationally representative samples, cross-cultural generalizability, statistical power, and integrated multilevel approaches. We examined one potential solution—the use of Representative, Open-Access Datasets (ROADs), which are currently underutilized. In this article, we define ROADs; discuss affordances, obstacles, and best practices in using them;…

Support for feminism among highly religious Muslim citizens in the Arab region

Public opinion studies argue that in Middle Eastern and North African countries, Muslims support gender equality less than non-Muslims. This overlooks the diversity in religion–feminism relations. Highly religious Muslims who support feminism are disregarded, even though in-depth studies have repeatedly pointed to their existence. Grounded in a structured anthology of qualitative studies on Muslim feminism, we provide the first ever…