Muscat: Young Omanis, along with their Arab peers, reject the ideology of the IS, and believe the terrorist group’s ‘Caliphate’ project will fail, a major survey of youth across the Arab world has found.
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However, nearly four in five have expressed concern about the rise of the extremist group, according to the Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey.
Just one in six (15 per cent) believe the terrorist group will ultimately succeed and establish a ‘Caliphate’ in the region.
The 200 respondents from Oman, represented in the survey, have joined the rest of young Arabs expressing concern about the rise of the IS, calling it “the biggest obstacle facing the region,” for the second year running, followed by threat of terrorism, unemployment and civil unrest.
In 2016, half of the youth in the 16 countries polled believe the rise of the group is the biggest challenge in the region, up from 37 per cent last year.
Interestingly, only 13 per cent of Arab youth said they could see themselves supporting IS even if it did not use much violence, compared with 19 per cent from last year.
Participants were interviewed in detail about subjects ranging from political to personal. The topics explored concerns and aspirations of the Arab youth, their views on economy, impact of unemployment and declining oil prices, their views on women’s rights, the impact of the Arab Spring, and their media consumption habits.
The 8th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2016 was conducted by international polling firm, Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), with a view to exploring attitudes among Arab youth in 16 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. PSB conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews between January 11 and February 22 with Arab men and women in the age group of 18 to 24 years. The interviews were completed in Arabic and English. The aim of this annual survey is to present evidence-based insights into the attitudes of the Arab youth, and provide public and private sector organisations with data and analysis to inform their decision-making and policy formation.
The survey is the most comprehensive of its kind covering the six Gulf Cooperation Council states (Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates), Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia and Yemen.
The survey did not include Syria due to the ongoing civil unrest in the country.