More Arabs trust Islamists

More Arabs trust Islamists

Poll reveals Arabs trust Islamists to abide by rules of democracy if elected to power.

MANAMA – More than 50 percent of Arabs believe Islamists would abide by the rules of democracy if elected to power, a US poll conducted in six countries said Wednesday.

The findings of the poll, conducted by Zogby International on behalf of the Arab Business Council, was presented Wednesday on the first day of the annual council meeting in Bahrain.

The poll showed that slightly more than 50 percent of respondents in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates said they trusted Islamic governments to be democratic if they reached power.

But the findings differed substantially in individual countries.

Seventy-two percent of Saudis and 70 percent of Emiratis were positive, while only 36 percent of Lebanese agreed. In turn, as many as 80 percent of Lebanese Christians expressed skepticism.

Around half of respondents in the remaining three countries agreed with the average in the six countries.

Also, about 50 percent of those polled said they favoured applying Islamic Sharia law to businesses.

Fifty-eight percent of those polled said they believed the educational systems in their countries fail to prepare young people for success. Egyptians were the least confident, at 15 percent.

The telephone poll, conducted in the third week of October, queried a sample of 3,600 people.