Survey: More Tunisians Express Support for Hizbullah than Lebanese

Posted on: July 11, 2012 at 00:01
Forty percent of Lebanese hold a favorable opinion of Hizbullah, which receives its highest overall ratings in Tunisia from among six Muslim-majority countries, according to a poll published in the U.S.

But in Lebanon views about Hizbullah are sharply divided along sectarian lines: 94% of Shiites, 33% of Christians, and 5% of Sunnis give the group favorable marks, according to the survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in recent months.

Although nearly half of Tunisians (46 percent) express a positive opinion on Hizbullah, the party’s image has been declining in Jordan and Egypt in recent years, it said.

The study said that more than a year after the Arab Spring, solid majorities in Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan believe democracy is the best form of government, as do a plurality of Pakistanis.

Some 67 percent of Egyptians and 63 percent of Tunisians say ''democracy is preferable,'' according to the survey.

In the rest of the region, 84 percent of Lebanese and 71 percent of Turks say they prefer democracy but Jordanians and Pakistanis are less enthusiastic, at 61 and 42 percent respectively.

Aside from Lebanon, which boasts a large Christian minority, a majority of poll participants across the surveyed Muslim nations feel Islam does and should play a central role in government. Points of view differ across the countries regarding the degree to which Islam should affect policy.

In Pakistan, 82 percent of participants feel ''laws should strictly follow the teachings of the Koran.'' In the rest of the Muslim world, only 72 percent of Jordanians, 60 percent of Egyptians, 23 percent of Tunisians and 17 percent of Turks and Lebanese agreed.

A majority of poll participants believe women should have the same rights as men. Lebanese led the pack with 93 percent believing in gender equality. Only 74 percent of Tunisians and 58 percent of Egyptians support equal rights for women. Some 67 percent of Tunisian women say that equal gender rights are very important, whereas only 50 percent of men agree.

The polls were conducted in March and April, with a sample of 1,000 participants per country and a margin of error ranging from more or less than 3.9 to 5.2 points across the different countries.

Source:Agence France Presse Naharnet
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