Pew survey: Middle East Muslims support democracy, Islam in politics
Egyptians in Cairo's Tahrir Square listen to a speech last month by Mohamed Morsi, who is now president.
July 11th, 2012
05:31 PM ET

Pew survey: Middle East Muslims support democracy, Islam in politics

By Laura Koran, CNN

(CNN) -Just as an Islamist president takes office in Egypt, a major survey shows that most Muslims in nations in or close to the Middle East want both democracy and a strong role for Islam in politics and government.

The survey, released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, finds that most people in many predominantly Muslim nations remain optimistic that democracy can succeed in the Middle East, more than a year after the Arab Spring began sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa.

Conducted in six countries between March 19 and April 20, the survey found that a majority of people in Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan believe that democracy is the best possible form of government, as does a 42 % plurality in Pakistan.

In Lebanon, where support for democracy is strongest, 84% of people surveyed said they preferred democratic governments to nondemocratic ones, a preference that was pronounced across religious groups.

Even among Pakistanis, who expressed the weakest support for democracy, only 17% said that nondemocratic systems of government are sometimes preferable.

The study also showed that Muslims in and around the Middle East believe that Islam has a major role to play in politics and government. Majorities in Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt believe that laws should strictly follow the Quran.

Support for strict Islamic law was lower in Lebanon, Turkey and Tunisia, but big pluralities in the latter two said they wanted the values and principles of Islam to be reflected in their laws to some degree.

When the importance of having democratic government was weighed against the need for a strong economy, support for democracy weakened.

Majorities in Pakistan, Jordan and Tunisia said that having a strong economy is more important than having a democratic government, while Egyptians were evenly split on the question. Of the six countries surveyed, only those in Lebanon and Turkey gave a preference for democracy.

The survey found that people in the countries surveyed have largely negative assessments of their economic situations but that they are generally optimistic that democracy will spread in the region.

When it comes to Islam, majorities in five of the countries surveyed reported that Islam already plays a large role in their political systems. In Egypt, that figure jumped from 47 % to 66% in the past year, even though the poll was conducted before Islamist President Mohamed Morsy recently took office.

Only the Lebanese did not see Islam as an important player in political life. However, those perceptions varied significantly across religious communities, with 81% of Shia Muslims believing that Islam plays a role in government, compared with 53% of Sunni Muslims and 21% of Christians.

The surveys are based on face-to-face interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates and included sample sizes of at least 1,000 people in each of the 6 countries. Margins of error ranged from 4.2% to 5.2%.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Middle East

soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Keith

    If Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi became president, Egypt’s new capital will no more be Cairo, but the new capital will be Jerusalem, a prominent Egyptian cleric said at a presidential campaign rally, which was aired by an Egyptian private TV channel.

    “Our capital shall not be Cairo, Mecca or Medina. It shall be Jerusalem with God’s will. Our chants shall be: ‘millions of martyrs will march towards Jerusalem’,” prominent cleric Safwat Hagazy said, according to the video aired by Egypt’s religious Annas TV on Tuesday.

    The video went viral after being posted on YouTube – accompanied by English subti.tles by Memri TV –, with 61,691 views until Thursday night.

    Egyptian cleric Safwat Hegazy (C) shouts during a demonstration at Tahrir Square in Cairo, against the verdict for deposed leader Hosni Mubarak. (Reuters)

    “The United States of the Arabs will be restored on the hands of that man [Mursi] and his supporters. The capital of the [Muslim] Caliphate will be Jerusalem with God’s will,” Hegazy said, as the crowds cheered, waving the Egyptian flags along with the flags of the Islamist Hamas group, which rules the Gaza Strip.

    “Tomorrow Mursi will liberate Gaza,” the crowds chanted.

    “Yes, we will either pray in Jerusalem or we will be martyred there,” Hegazy said.

    Hegazy’s speech came during a presidential campaign rally at the Egyptian Delta city of Mahalla, where Mursi attended along with the Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Badei and members of the group and its political wing the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).

    July 13, 2012 at 7:27 am |
    • Keith

      Why does God's judgment fall on Amerikka? Partially because the President removed Mubarrak and replaced him with this guy. I think he wants to see Jerusalem fall into Arab hands. He certainly is no "friend" of Israel. He will not succeed: Zec 12:3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

      July 13, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    July 12, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs:!

      July 13, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  3. Keith

    Once he gets control of the Eygptian military; this Obama's appointee, Morsi, is going to get a whole lot of people killed.

    July 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
    • derp

      "this Obama's appointee, Morsi"

      I didn't realize that Obama got to vote in Egypt. I though you nutters always claimed he was Kenyan.

      July 13, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • Keith

      derp, Are you serious? You should change your name to "dip".

      July 13, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • derp

      "derp, Are you serious? You should change your name to "dip"

      You should change your name to "too fvcking stupid to understand sarcasm".

      July 16, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  4. Reprinted With Permission ©

    It appears to me that Muslims are the fastest growing segment of world society today. As others are withering away the Muslims seem to be rising again with their contributions as was the case historically when they ruled India and Europe and left behind a legacy of science, art, architecture, culinary et al. One only needs to go to Spain and India to witness this. As immigrants, it is a good thing to be aware of your glorious heritage and be connected with it. The Italian immigrants do it as do the Germans, Polish, Jewish, Hispanic and many other cultures. What really pleasantly surprised me was what I witnessed in the Middle East. A tolerant society that has come so far in a few years. Most importantly providing job and economic opportunities to all, Hindus/Indians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Europeans, Americans, Africans, South Americans, Chinese, and Russians etc. Never have I witnessed such openness and equal opportunities unless you go back to the times of Muslim rule in India and Spain. My conclusion is that the Muslims get it. They are striving to once again take their leadership role in the world order and take this civilization to its next level of excellence. The climb to success and progress is not a linear curve but a stochastic one. Let us join in wishing our Muslim brethren well and much success in their endeavors. If we can't help them let's not pull the rug from under them.

    July 12, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • derp

      "Most importantly providing job and economic opportunities to all, Hindus/Indians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Europeans, Americans, Africans, South Americans, Chinese, and Russians etc. Never have I witnessed such openness and equal opportunities unless you go back to the times of Muslim rule in India and Spain"

      When they are not busy flying planes into buildings or executing innocent women on trumped up adultery charges.

      July 13, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • JJ Vargas

      Excellent writeup. A lot of good things are happening in the muslim world contrary to CNN and comments of some pessimists.
      God speed and God bless to our muslim brethren.

      July 13, 2012 at 11:11 am |
  5. gosh

    All I have to say-media does control a vast majority of the populations mind- pick up a book before you start slandering people for what the crazies did-sigh

    July 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  6. Ben

    Islam is disgusting!

    July 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • I agree

      I agree but we gotta find a way to enter teh Muslims mind... I mean after all we Have Jesus the King of Kngs on our side.. 🙂

      July 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  7. Woody

    Islam, by its very nature, controls a believers life from the womb to the tomb. How can true Muslims possibly claim they want democracy? You can't have it both ways. You can either have real freedom, or you can have an Ayatollah lead you by the nose. If your official state religion is Islam, you will NEVER have a true democracy. If Muslims believe that "Islam has a major role to play in politics and government" their dreams of democracy have crashed before they've left the ground. There are some Christian Fundamentalists in the USA, who enjoy the freedom that our secular Consti-tution gives them, who would love nothing better than to have a Christian Theocracy here. If you think an official state religion (with all of the inevitable rules and regulations that would follow) is such a wonderful idea, just look to the Middle East.

    July 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  8. derp

    "want both democracy and a strong role for Islam in politics and government"

    How is this any different than christians in America who want a greater role of christianity in our government?

    July 12, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • vangrungy

      Thank Christian Protestants for America.

      July 12, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • derp

      I'm sure the American Indian tribes are enormously grateful.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • I agree

      I would say thank the centuries of Cathlic rule in Europe that opened the eyes of the protastants in The Americas 🙂 🙂 🙂

      July 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  9. Kebos

    Separation of church and state, gone.
    The Muslim Brotherhood, their very name tells you what they stand for.
    Egypt is going done a very dangerous path that will get much worse.

    July 12, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • Huebert

      Unfortunately, Islam has no tradition of separation of church and state. Mohammed was both the leader of an empire and the prophet, so church and state were one from the very beginning.

      July 12, 2012 at 9:58 am |
  10. Sherri

    The study also showed that Muslims in and around the Middle East believe that Islam has a major role to play in politics and government. Majorities in Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt believe that laws should strictly follow the Quran.

    READ THAT PART AGAIN. THE LINES ABOVE ARE FROM THE ARTICLE. They want laws that 'strictly follow the Quran'
    (women stay home, no education for girls, female genital mutilation, honor killings, stonings etc)

    July 11, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • jgsj4

      Well thats stupid, why would they want women to stay home. Women have had it to easy, time for the women to get off the couch and get to work making some money to help pay the bills. If they were smart they would make them go to work so they could stay home and kick back and relax. Lazy women.

      July 12, 2012 at 6:01 am |
    • I agree

      that sounds like a lot of fun are you up for it ? 🙂 🙂

      July 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  11. Reality

    Dear sisters and brothers of Middle East Islam,

    From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi----–

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    The First Five of the 77 Branches:

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
    be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

    Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..

    July 11, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  12. Sherri

    The first line says it all and should tell you a thing or two. They want Islam in their politics. That means they want Islam to run things in their countries. They want an Islamic state. Where Islam makes the rules for everyone. That is what an Islamic state is. It is where church and state are one and the same. Not separate like most people want. There is no room for democracy, as we know it, in an Islamic state. Islam controls how you live your life – everything about your life. It means total submission. There is no room for personal freedom or freedom of thought or speech. Do you SEE any freedom of speech in those countries? They also want total worldwide Islam. Get the video The Third Jihad and listen to THEM say what they want for the world. Believe them. They say it often and loudly. It is time you start listening because it will be too late in 20 years when you come whimpering about losing your freedom.

    July 11, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Kebos

      I totally agree with you.

      July 12, 2012 at 7:24 am |
    • derp

      Sounds an awful lot like the christian right in this country.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • I agree

      Your perceived threats may be accurate still it woudl be great for us Christians to prepare for persecution and be ready to enter into the fiery furmnace 🙂 🙂 🙂

      July 12, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  13. gosh

    What's with the sermon John.... people look out of your turtle shells and turn off fox news Islam is about democracy

    July 11, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
  14. John Stefanyszyn

    .,,and the king of the north streched out his hand, advanced his way of life, his "god of fortresses" , to Egypt, Libya (north africa), Ethiopia (land of Cush), and the Holy Land....and all embraced his "god of fortresses"...and his palace tabernacle will be placed above the gods of the nations and above the Holy Mountain.

    ....The belief in and way of lifeof freedom of self-rights and freedom of religions before and above all other beliefs and above the Way of the One True Creator and His Son the Christ.

    The return of Christ is at hand and He willrule as the ONE KING with the ONE TRUE WAY OF LIFE.

    July 11, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • hate on hater

      Kill yourself so you can meet your god. Then we won't have to be subjected to your regurgitated bible sh•t. Win win for all.

      July 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  15. Portland tony

    Everybody loves democracy .....Provided you are in the 50.1% majority!

    July 11, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  16. The Islamic Winter

    Has begun.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • BG

      Funny thing about the weather... there could be a sudden heat wave at any time.

      about 5700 Kelvin.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • I agree

      can't wait for Sharia spring next year 🙂 🙂

      July 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  17. ddpp

    just give 50 years and Islam will disappear off the face of the earth.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Really? And you base that on what exactly?

      It's been around for 1,380 years so far. What will cause it to end before it's 1,430th birthday?

      July 11, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • derp

      Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. It will be here long after christianity goes the way of Zues. It will likely be the cause of the end of life on earth as we know it.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • I agree

      as long as Jesus is boss Christianity will endure for ever...

      Christianty began in the Roman Empire where Christiasn were burned at the stake and fed to lions 2000 years after all that we're still here...

      still here still here kept by mercy and grace still here still here still here kept by mercy and grace we're still her 🙂 🙂 🙂

      July 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • ddpp

      @ I am

      In 50 years or so from now, Islam will be in the same situation as any criminal organizations with difficulties to recruit new members, because Islam like any criminal organizations are founded on physical violence, and as they grow fast, they collapse very fast too!

      July 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  18. Horst Nordfink

    Islam and democracy are mutually exclusive. Islam cannot stand for people to have freedom of choice, tolerance for minority groups, and a variety of viewpoint freely expressed, and democracy must have freedom of (and from) religion to survive.

    The Arab Spring got rid of dictators, and signs point to the ugly reality that they are replacing dictators with theocrats.

    True democracy is just not going to happen in the Islamic parts if the Middle East for a very very very long time.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      yet, the trending information is quite interesting. Particularly noteworthy was the downward trend in views of organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • zacharye

      They can call it democracy all they want, probably nothing systemic is going to change post revolution (unfortunately).

      July 11, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • Answer

      It'll take them all another two centuries to get with the program of democracy. They first have to claim individuality and freedoms. And those two are never easily gotten.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Portland OR

      Islam, or any other ideology, and democracy are not mutually exclusive. Nazi Germany was democratic; HItler was voted into power. The question should be whether a liberal democracy can coexist within an Islamic, or any ideological, framework. The answer to that is most definitely no.

      And before one judges Muslim countries on their desire to incorporate Islam into the state, it is worth noting how often America is referred to as a "Christian Nation", founded on Christian principles. Is this really any different?

      July 12, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • derp

      Christianity and democracy are mutually exclusive. Christianity cannot stand for people to have freedom of choice, tolerance for minority groups, and a variety of viewpoint freely expressed, and democracy must have freedom of (and from) religion to survive.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  19. ME II

    A very interesting survey. One interesting data point that's not mentioned in the article, but is in the Pew Release, "Few Believe U.S. Backs Democracy," or more specifically, "Majorities or pluralities in Jordan, Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt believe the American government opposes democracy in the region. "

    It appears that most favor democracy and also at least some role in government for Islam, interesting that.

    July 11, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  20. BG

    "Democracy" will thrive in the M.E. until Islam declares itself the "majority party."

    Then "debates" will end at the edge of a sword, and true Democracy will disappear.

    Laura "Koran" = good name for a CNN propagandist.

    July 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      you do realize that this information is from the Pew Research Center, not CNN don't you?

      July 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Look at the Pew data directly. It is interesting.
      82% of Lebanese prefer democracy, yet only 42% of Pakistanis.

      Unsurprisingly, the Muslim world is not monolithic.

      July 11, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Sorry ... "84% of Lebanese"

      July 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • BG

      Please. The Robert Wood Johnson foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates, Pew Charitable Trusts, etc. all all polarized, left-leaning organizations founded by financially-influential liberal "progressive" individuals and their families. I'd believe 'facts' from a Pew report about as easily as I'd believe CNN's reporting.

      Presumptive progressives are under the impression that the entire conservative body politic is both uninformed and impressionable. Good luck with that.


      "The Pew Center for Civic Journalism"

      From the Wall Street Journal, 10-17-96: "It has become one of the most influential forces in American journalism, writing big checks to newspapers to change the way they cover government and politics. And major dailies that traditionally take great pride in their independence are suddenly lining up for cash from this powerful outsider." Supposedly designed "to encourage readers to participate in the political process," it really promotes only one side, as usual; the only difference is that now the media are openly paid by their Lasker Syndicate masters. This program was also created by Thomas W. Langfitt and his stooge, Rebecca Rimel, along with some "journalist" cronies: "a veteran TV newsman named Edward Fouhy;" "James K. Batten, then the chairman of Knight-Ridder Inc., whose press empire includes such powerful dailies as the Miami Herald and Pew's hometown Philadelphia Inquirer;" and "Davis 'Buzz' Merritt, editor of Knight-Ridder's Wichita Eagle."



      July 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      and yet you quote from an organization with this as its banner:

      The History of the Conspiracy Against Tobacco
      Our Constitutional Rights Have Been Subordinated to Nazi Pseudo-Science and the Greed of the Insurance Industry!

      Some fine journalistic integrity there! Ha!

      The Pew Research Center is one of the few 'think tanks' that does not make policy recommendations.

      The Pew Forum data shows that atheists represent 1.6% of the American population. If they were so left-wing as you say, don't you think they'd figure out a way to bump that number up?

      July 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • BG

      I gave you that selective quote from the WSJ. I could care less about gyrations and obfuscations from the tobacco industry. The facts behind Pew's influences and politics are indisputable. Here, from the mouth of an ex-Pew director:



      July 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • BG

      " The Pew Forum data shows that atheists represent 1.6% of the American population. If they were so left-wing as you say, don't you think they'd figure out a way to bump that number up?"

      I'm sure everyone 'polled' by Pew cared enough to tell them their personal, private truth. I divulge personal details about myself to every phone "researcher" that calls me during dinner... What if someone appeared at your door and said they were from "Larry Flint Publications" and they were "taking a poll" about your personal opinion on deviant se x acts?

      Well, maybe that's a bad example in your case.

      Point is, "research" is whatever the pollster wants to say it is. There's no transparency about their methodology, sample sizes, etc. Just "outcomes" ("accurate within +/- 4%".)

      July 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      So you quote an article from a right-leaning think tank (Capital Research Center) to support claims that Pew is left-leaning? That's at least not as wacky as the tobacco guys, but still suspect as a source.

      Did you look at the Capital Research Center's front-page today?

      The skeptic in me says don't believe any of them – they all have agendas.

      We should invoke Rule Number 1. Don't believe anything on the internet.

      Unfortunately with the progressive degeneration of all news media there's not much else and a judgment is necessary.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      The usually publish better methodology details than I have found with a quick look.

      Survey data and methodological notes are here:

      July 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Page 40 of the full report has a better description:


      July 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • BG

      "The skeptic in me says don't believe any of them – they all have agendas."

      One the surface, that's the first thing that you've ever said that actually makes sense. If you did into the facts, the truths sometimes are uncovered. The problem is that the facts are buried so damn deep you need a security clearance to unearth them.

      July 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • BG

      The ti tle page presents an inherent contradi ctory thesis:

      " Most Muslims Want Democracy, Personal Freedoms, and Islam in Political Life"

      Personal freedoms = Islam? Islam is anti thetic to Democracy. "Democracy" is only playing a useful idiot role in establishing Islam governance.

      But I digress.. You're right. Page 40 says it all [my comments]:

      " The survey in Tunisia is part of the larger Spring 2012 Pew Global Att itudes survey conducted in 21 countries under the direction of Princeton [Well, there's one bias factor, 'eh] Survey Research Associates International. Results for the survey in Tunisia are based on 1,000 face-to-face interviews of adults [which adults? The ones rioting in the streets?] conducted March 22 to April 20, 2012. The survey is representative of the country’s adult population. [So says Pew.] It uses a multi-stage cluster sample stratified by governorate [sic] and proportional to population size [basically these were the people that didn't throw rocks at us when we asked them questions.] and urban/rural population. Interviews were conducted in Tunisian Arabic.

      The margin of sampling error is ±3.9 percentage points. For the results based on the full sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus the margin of error. [One can 'say' pretty much anything] In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls .[Ya' think?]

      I'm sure the Pew "research team" led off their interviews with something like: " Wait!! Put the knife down – we're on your side!!" After all, Identifying yourself with your 'respondents' always opens a few doors and makes life easier...

      July 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      throw the baby out with the bath water if you like. That's certainly your choice.

      I can choose to say a news report on wildfires in the mountain west on Fox News has to be slanted because it was presented by Fox News but that doesn't mean I'd be making a good choice.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • BG

      Probably the most damning 'statistic' to the validity of the Pew "research?"

      Of the total adult population of approximately 10M people, Pew has the audacity to claim that their
      interviews of 1K people is a representative sample size.

      What's the number for establishing statistical significance within a given population? Is is .00001?

      Only for purposes of propaganda.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


      I won't claim to be an expert pollster, but given the mathematics of statistics, I think that you'll find professional polling companies like Gallup will make similar claims.

      Check this out: http://www.surveysystem.com/sscalc.htm

      I used a confidence interval of 3, with 95% confidence. It's remarkably close to 1,000 for a 10,000,000 population.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • BG


      The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Public Opinion Polls
      Russell D. Renka
      Professor of Political Science
      Southeast Missouri State University

      July 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.