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ARAB BAROMETER: SELECTED FINDINGS WAVE TWO (2011) and WAVE ONE (2006). ISLAM AND THE STRUGGLE FOR A POLITICAL FORMULA: FINDINGS FROM THE 2010-2011 ARAB BAROMETER. Mark Tessler University of Michigan. Why Islam?

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arab barometer selected findings wave two 2011 and wave one 2006

ARAB BAROMETER: SELECTED FINDINGS

WAVE TWO (2011) and WAVE ONE (2006)

ISLAM AND THE STRUGGLE FOR A POLITICAL FORMULA:

FINDINGS FROM THE 2010-2011 ARAB BAROMETER

Mark Tessler

University of Michigan

slide2

Why Islam?

Arabs and Muslims often say that Westerners are obsessed with Islam, believing that it breeds extremism and violence – the so-called Clash of Civilizations thesis. But while Arabs and Muslims are correct to complain that misinformation and stereotypes sometimes characterize Western thinking about Islam, the place of religion in the governance of Arab countries is in fact an important, and contested, issue in domestic Arab politics – and now more than ever.

  • Ali Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt: “Egypt’s revolution has swept away decades of authoritarian rule but has also highlighted an issue that Egyptians will grapple with as they consolidate their democracy: the role of religion in political life.”
  • Hamadi Jebali, Secretary General of Tunisia’s al-Nahda Party (and now Tunisian prime minister): “What kind of Democracy for the New Tunisia: Islamic or Secular?”
  • Tariq Harb, Iraqi constitutional lawyer and media personality: “A central element in the struggle to define Iraq’s emergent democracy is the question of how “to balance religion and secularism.”
slide3

Arab Barometer:

Second Wave

Most surveys used area probability sampling.

Data are weighted by age and education when needed.

** Being “corrected” and not included in present analysis.

slide4

Support for Islam

in Politics and Society

aNine countries, pooled analysis; weighted to adjust for sample size differences;

only Muslim respondents included.

slide5

Support for Islamic Influence by Country

Dark Green = Favorable toward Islamic influence by 9 or more points aboveaverage

Tan = Unfavorable toward Islamic influence by 9 or more points belowaverage

slide6

Different Visions and Worldviews?

Dark Green = difference of 9or more

slide7

Accounting for Variance: Drivers and Pathways

Dependent Variable: Support for Islam in

Politics and Society (2-8 scale, 8 = more) support)

  • Selected Hypotheses: More Support Predicted If:
  • Unfavorable Regime Evaluation
  • Conservative Cultural Values
  • Low Educational Level
  • Methodological Considerations
  • Only Muslim respondents
  • Pooled data and weighting
  • OLS, holds other IVs constant
  • Control variables (religiosity, demographics)
  • Disaggregation by age (and sex)
  • Compare regimes based on Islamic connection
slide9

Some Determinants (Predictors) of Attitudes toward Islam’s

Political and Societal Role: A Foundation for Discussion

H1. Unfavorable Regime Evaluation

  • Unfavorable regime evaluation predicts to support for Islamic influence if country governed by a regime without an Islamic connection, but only among older individuals (and only among men)
  • Unfavorable regime evaluation predicts to opposition to Islamic influence if country governed by a regime with an Islamic connection, but again only among older individuals (of both sexes)

H2. Lower Support for Gender Equality

  • Lower support for gender equality predicts to support for Islamic influence regardless of whether or not country is governed by a regime with an Islamic connection, but only among younger individuals (and men) in countries governed by a regime with an Islamic connection

H3. Lower Level of Education

  • Higher education predicts to support for Islamic influence if country governed by a regime without an Islamic connection amongboth younger and older individuals (of both sexes)
  • Lower education predicts to support for Islamic influence if country governed by a regime with an Islamic connection, but only among older individuals (and only among men)
  • Countries governed by regime with an Islamic connection: KSA, Iraq, Sudan
slide10

Some Conclusions and Take-Aways

  • Publics Divided on Islam’s Political and Societal Role
  • Overall, skewed toward limiting Islam’s political and societal influence
  • Considerable variation across countries
  • Opinion divided even in countries with more support for Islam’s influence
  • Worldviews Vary by Issue
  • Substantial majorities support democracy, equality for non-Muslims, importance of education for girls
  • Publics divided in views about American culture and people
  • Some association between worldviews and views about Islam’s influence
  • No “One-Size-Fits-All” Causal Story
  • Political judgments, cultural predispositions, and personal experiences all account for some of the variance in views about Islam’s influence
  • Explanatory power influenced by character of governing regime
  • Explanatory power also varies across demographic categories
slide11

Next Steps: Expanded and More Complex Analysis

  • Expanded database: more countries and time periods
  • Additional measures of dependent variable
  • Additional individual-level hypotheses and independent variables: tolerance, economic situation, civic engagement
  • Separate (not pooled) analysis for each survey
  • Two-level analysis to identify conditioning effects of country and temporal characteristics
  • Further reflection and investigation of pathways