According to poll “overwhelming” majority of Arab youth reject ISIL

by omouggos

The 8th annual Asda’a Burson-Marsteller Arab youth survey has been released. As reported by Al-Arabiya, the major finding of the poll was that the “overwhelming” majority of those polled reject ISIL.

My suspicions were immediately aroused when I noticed that the Al-Arabiya article did not provide a quantification of what constituted an “overwhelming” rejection.[1] Was it 99.9% of Arab youth? 90%? 80%? The fact that no percentage value was given prompted me to investigate further.

So I looked at the actual survey presentation released by Penn Schoen Berland to find what the actual value was.[2] First off, the survey involved the face-to-face interviewing of 3,500 Arabs aged 18-24 years from 16 different Arab countries. It also appears that the vast majority of those polled were from major cities and not from the countryside.

The presentation gave 10 findings gleamed from the survey results. The first finding was that “an overwhelming majority of young Arabs reject Daesh (ISIS) and believe the group will fail to establish an Islamic State.” Oddly enough, pertaining to the former conclusion there is no such question asked in the survey, i.e they did asked those polled “do you reject ISIL?

The closest question related to this finding that they did ask was “if Daesh did not use so much violence, I could see myself supporting it.” 78% of respondents disagreed with this statement, meaning they would not support ISIL even if it was less violent, while 13% agreed. So I presume that when the survey says that the overwhelming majority of Arab youth reject ISIL, that they mean 78% do based on the above rather odd question that they asked.

In reality it seems inappropriate for the Asda’a Burson-Marsteller survey to claim that the majority of Arab youth reject ISIL as they did not ask the necessary question needed to conclude that claim. Instead they made an extrapolation based on a related, but quite frankly asinine question–would you support ISIL if they were less violent? Firstly, what less violent mean that ISIL will still be violent? Maybe if they stopped beheading people but instead killed them with lethal injection then ISIL could be considered to become less violent. Secondly, ISIL will not become less violent as violence is central to their ideology and methodology, thus making question rather pointless.

So why did the surveyors ask an asinine and hypothetical question instead of one that would unambiguously and directly pertain to the claim at hand (i.e. do you support ISIL)? This seems rather odd. However, I suspect it is not that odd at all. If they had in fact asked the appropriate question, then one would be able to obtain a meaningful metric to estimate how many Arab youth do in fact support ISIL. As it stands based on the question that was asked, one cannot even reasonably extrapolate how many Arab youth possibly support ISIL. However, the ambiguity of the question did not dissuade the surveyors from making their own extrapolations.

You see, the people that operate such poles seem to have an agenda. For whatever reason, they do not want you to conclude that ISIL could have a significant degree of support from Muslims, young or old, as that may lead you to conclude that ISIL has something to with the religion of Islam. Such a conclusion is verboten to the political and academic elites that rule our society. So they must lead you to believe that the “overwhelming” majority of Arab youth reject, even though the survey does not actually support such a finding.

With this in mind I do recommend that you look at the findings of the Asda’a Burson-Marsteller Arab youth survey as it does present some interesting and revealing findings on how Arab youth view what is currently happening in the Middle East. However, always remain vigilant when perusing such information, as it is quite clear that the author’s of such survey’s are not overly concerned with uncovering the truth but with furthering their own, not so hidden, agendas.

O Mouggos