A recent survey has found that young Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa are increasingly rejecting the Islamic State but are concerned about the lack of job opportunities in their countries. Most of the Arab youth believe that the extremist organisation will not succeed in establishing a caliphate.
The 2016 Arab Youth survey conducted face-to-face interviews of 3,500 youths within the age group of 18-24 years from 16 Arab countries. The survey, conducted by American polling firm Penn Schoen Berland for ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, included opinions of 50 percent men and 50 percent women.
According to the poll results, 13 percent of the young Arabs, which is less than last year’s 19 percent, said they would support the ISIS if they are not too violent. Compared to last year’s 37 percent, 50 percent currently consider ISIS to be the biggest problem facing the Middle East at present.
The youth is concerned that the ongoing poor job environment is providing opportunities to the ISIS to recruit more young fighters, The Guardian reported. In eight of the 16 countries surveyed, the lack of employment opportunities acts as a major driving force for the group than extremist views.
The young Arabs also cited the rise in the cost of living and absence of proper leadership as other major problems their countries are dealing with.
The NPR reported that the poll conducted on the Arab youth every year since 2008 provides an understanding of the shifting attitudes in this region after the Arab spring.
About five years ago, many countries dissented against their autocratic rulers, overthrowing them from power. It was then thought that such movements would open more prospects for these countries. Chaos instead characterised many countries in the region, including Libya, Yemen, and Syria.
In 2010, most young Arabs said democracy was most important to them. In 2012, after the upheaval, fair pay was prioritised over democracy. Today, stability is being chosen over democracy in most of the Middle Eastern countries.