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10 May 2012

Egyptians choose Saudi Arabia over Turkey as model: poll

n_20352_4.jpgThe majority of Egyptians prefer Saudi Arabia over Turkey as a model for the role of religion in governance, a poll says. Six out of ten want Shariah while secular figures are paradoxically still most favored by society

Most Egyptians see Saudi Arabia as a better model than Turkey for the role religion should play in government as they want Islam to play a major role in society and believe the Quran should help shape the country’s laws, a recent survey indicated.

When asked which country, Saudi Arabia or Turkey, served as the better model for the role of religion in government 61 percent said Saudi Arabia. Only 17 percent choose Turkey while the remaining 22 percent responded that neither country was an appropriate model, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project. Results of the survey in Egypt are based on 1000 face-to-face interviews conducted from March 19 to April 10. The sample taken was representative of the country’s adult population.

A majority of Egyptians, 64 percent according to the survey, continue to believe Islam plays a positive role in their country’s politics. According to the survey, Egyptians want Islam to play a role in shaping the nation’s laws as the majority, 60 percent to be exact, said Egypt’s laws should strictly adhere to the Quran. About 32 percent say the country should follow the values and principles of Islam but not strictly follow the teachings of the Quran. However, most also endorse specific democratic rights and institutions which do not exist in Saudi Arabia, such as free speech, a free press and equal rights for women. Among those who choose Saudi Arabia over Turkey as the best model for Egypt, two-thirds also said democracy is preferable to any other kind of government. More than six out of ten people, or 64 percent, said it is very important to live in a country with a free press. Sixty-one percent responded with freedom of speech.

Army still popular
Despite the country’s ongoing political conflict, many of the organizations and leaders who played key roles in last year’s revolution, such as the military, the Muslim Brotherhood and the liberal April 6 Movement, remain popular. While the military’s ratings may have dropped since 2011, a majority of Egyptians continue to view the military, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) and the country’s ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi in a positive light. However, the influence of the military has dropped from 88 percent to 75 percent when compared to figures from 2011. Tantawi is well regarded by 63 percent of Egyptians, although his favorability rating has fallen from last year’s 90 percent.

Of people surveyed 83 percent said religious leaders have a very good or somewhat good influence on the country. Despite the political turmoil which has surrounded the military over the past year 75 percent of Egyptians have continued to say it has a good influence in the country. Ex-Mubarak foreign minister and current presidential candidate Amr Moussa is also very popular with the Egyptian public with 81 percent giving him favorable ratings, down only slightly from 89 percent in 2011



08:47 Posted in Egypt | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

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