Two years after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian public mood is increasingly negative. Month after month of political uncertainty, a weak economy and often violent street protests have taken their toll, and today a majority of Egyptians are dissatisfied with the way their new democracy is working. Only 30% of Egyptians think [...]
Two years after Egyptians first poured into Cairo’s Tahrir Square chanting “Down with Mubarak” the legacy of the Arab Spring remains uncertain. Polling since the uprising shows that Egyptians want democratic rights and institutions, a major role for Islam in political life, and an improved economy – a challenging set of demands for the new cadre of Egyptian leaders.
More than a year after the first stirrings of the Arab Spring, there continues to be a strong desire for democracy in Arab and other predominantly Muslim nations. A substantial number in key Muslim countries also want a large role for Islam in political life. Meanwhile, few think the U.S. favors democracy in the Middle East.
The declaration of Mohamed Morsi as Egypt’s first freely elected president marks a major milestone for a country that until February 2011 had spent nearly three decades under the authoritarian rule of Hosni Mubarak. At the same time, for significant numbers of Egyptians, Morsi’s relatively narrow victory over former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has the potential to raise questions about Islam’s role in society.
A year after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, a new nationwide survey finds that Egyptians remain upbeat about the course of the nation and prospects for progress. Most Egyptians continue to support democracy, and most also want Islam to play a major role in society.
Support for democracy is high throughout much of the Middle East, but the Arab Spring has not led to an improvement in America’s image in the region. Instead, in key Arab nations and in other predominantly Muslim countries, views of the U.S. remain negative. On balance, extremist groups also viewed negatively, although they receive significant levels of support in some countries.
Majorities of Egyptian Muslims believe that democracy is preferable to any other kind of government, and by wide margins, Muslims in Egypt say that Islam plays a positive role in their country’s politics.
Extremist groups Hamas and Hezbollah continue to receive mixed ratings from Muslim publics. However, opinions of al Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, are consistently negative; only in Nigeria do Muslims offer views that are, on balance, positive toward al Qaeda and bin Laden.
Overwhelmingly, Pakistanis see terrorism as a major problem in their country and most have negative views of the Taliban and al Qaeda, but they have become less concerned over the last year that extremists will take over Pakistan. Meanwhile, Pakistanis continue to express serious concerns about the U.S. and their longtime rival India.
Pakistani public opinion has turned against al Qaeda and the Taliban, and no fewer than 69% of those polled express worry that extremists will take control of the nation. Ratings for President Asif Ali Zardari have also plummeted, as Pakistanis see their country in crisis.
Except in France, most Muslim women choose to cover their heads — but many among the general public disapprove
By Nicole Speulda and Mary McIntosh
The speed of the war in Iraq and the prevailing belief that the Iraqi people are better off as a result have modestly improved the image of America. But in most countries, opinions of the U.S. are markedly lower than they were a year ago.