This House believes that political Islam is a threat to the West

Sunday January 18 2009
MOTION REJECTED by 49% to 51%

Opinion poll


Doha, Qatar February 28,2009: Almost 50 percent of Arabs living in the Middle East believe that Islam is heading for a clash with the West, according to the latest poll commissioned by The Doha Debates.

A further 30 percent of respondents added their conviction that political Islam poses a threat to the West, with a majority identifying the promotion of jihad as the principal threat.

The results mirror the vote at a recent Doha Debate, held in Qatar on 18 January 2009 and broadcast on BBC World News, where audience members rejected a motion questioning whether political Islam is a threat to the West by 51 percent to 49 percent.

The poll, conducted by YouGovSiraj, was carried out between 26 January and 1 February 2009 and surveyed the views of 970 Arabs in the Gulf, North Africa and Levant.

85 percent of those polled stated their perception of political Islam groups as either popular or extremely popular. When asked which groups they consider as representative of political Islam, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hezbollah were most commonly cited.

A majority of Arabs - 60 percent of respondents – believe that Islam has been hijacked by extremists. One quarter of Arabs think political Islam is more of a threat to Muslims than it is to the West, with nearly a half believing it is tainting the religion’s good name.

The appeal of political Islam groups was not seen solely as a result of lack of democracy and corruption in Arab states, with one third of those polled stating their belief that Muslims residing in the West are excluded from participating in the political process.

Polling dates: 26 January - 1 February, 2008

Download the polling data [PDF]

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