Religion

Religiosity and Perception About Compatibility of Democracy With Islam: Evidence From the Arab World

Using the data from Arab countries, this article shows that the odds of considering democracy to be consistent with Islam are higher for more religious respondents than that for less religious respondents. This article also shows that this result may be driven by two characteristics of religiosity: frequently reading the Holy Quran (the source of religion) and regularly praying. Our…

Sharīʻa, Islamism and Arab support for democracy

The Arab Spring and its aftermath reignited the debate over the relationship between Islamism and democracy. This analysis improves upon previous research by demonstrating the crucial contribution which a more precise understanding of the multiple meanings of the concept of Sharīʻa can have on our assessment of the future of democracy in the Arab world. While support for the Sharīʻa-conformity…

Beyond elections: perceptions of democracy in four Arab countries

This article draws on public opinion survey data from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan to investigate first, whether a “demand for democracy” in the region exists; second, how to measure it; and third, how respondents understand it. The picture emerging from this analysis is complex, eluding the simple dichotomy between prima facie support and second order incongruence with democracy, which characterises current…

Revisiting the Islamist–Secular divide: Parties and voters in the Arab world

Electoral politics in the Arab world are either portrayed as clientelistic affairs void of content or as highly ideological clashes between Islamist and Secular Left forces. Although both arguments are intuitively appealing, the empirical evidence to date is limited. This article seeks to contribute to the debate by investigating the extent of programmatic voter support for Islamist and Secular Left…

Arab World in Transition?

“The attitudes of the publics in the Middle East and North Africa are changing remarkably. Today, 13 percent of the population classify themselves as “not religious”; among young Arabs, the proportion is even higher with 18 percent. This is the result of a recent study by Arab Barometer, a research network for  survey research in the Middle East and North…

BBC Radio Scotland’s “Sunday Morning with…” INTERVIEW MICHAEL ROBBINS ON latest public opinion survey findings

BBC News Arabic has just published the results of a survey they commissioned to gain an insight into the views and lives of everyday people across the Arab world. The research collected opinions from over 25,000 people, on everything from religion and politics to sex, love and the status of women. Richard discusses the findings with Dr Michael Robbins, the…

A revealing survey that rings alarm bells

What is happening across the board is that populations are losing much of their trust in political and religious elites. Analysts have been scratching their heads over the results of a recent opinion survey on social, political and religious attitudes in the Arab world conducted by Arab Barometer, a Princeton University-based research network, and released by BBC News Arabic. Much…

Survey: More Than Half of Arab World’s Young Adults Want to Leave

Lack of trust in Islamist governments, spike in non-religious identity are among chief reasons, report finds The results of a recent survey in the Arab world show that more than half of the region’s young adults are considering emigrating, and an increasing number of people are identifying as “non-religious.” The Big BBC News Arabic Survey, a joint assessment by BBC…

Is the Arab world really becoming less religious?

Almost one in five young Arabs describe themselves as “not religious”, according to the largest ever in-depth survey in the Middle East and North Africa. Researchers from BBC Arabic and Arab Barometer – a US-based research network – carried out face-to-face interviews with more than 25,000 people in 11 countries and territories, and found the number who claimed no faith had risen from 8%…

Trust in radical Islamist movements plummets, major survey finds

Trust in radical and militant groups in the Arab world has slumped significantly, according to a major new survey. Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas have fallen in public opinion in the years since the Arab uprisings, research commissioned by BBC News Arabic found. “This pattern continues a general trend of decline in trust for Islamists in Mena, which has…