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Arab Survey: 55% Say Offensive Words Justify Violence

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A survey of Arabs conducted by YouGov reveals a strange mix of deep irrationality, denial, and self-contradicting views on the subject of religious extremism.

A YOUGOV poll commissioned by the Doha Debates has concluded that nearly one-third of all Arabs believe that Saudi Arabia is at greater risk from religious extremism than any other country in the world.

The poll adds weight to the vote at a session of the Doha Debates held on March 3 in Doha, where the motion “This house believes that Muslims are failing to combat extremism”, was carried by more than 70% of the audience.

In the YouGov survey, nearly half of all Arabs in the Gulf, Levant and North Africa said they have met someone who holds extreme religious views.

Asked under what conditions violence is permissible, more than 60% cited Western interference in a Muslim country, while 55% said offensive words or behaviour was a trigger.

More than half the respondents also believed that poor religious leadership is to blame for today’s extremism – although seven out of 10 said the size of the problem had been exaggerated.

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