The Arab world is known to be the most religious and homogeneous community but a recent survey by the BBC conducted in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region showed a rise in the areligious trend.
The survey issued info-graphs about how Arabs feel about wide range of issues, from women’s rights and migration to security and sexuality.
Across 11 countries, including Palestinian Territories, more than 25,000 people participated in the BBC News Arabic survey by the Arab barometer research network between late 2018 and spring 2019.
The survey reveals that since 2013, the number of people who described themselves as “not religious” has risen from 8% to 13%. The greatest rise is in those under 30s, among whom 18% identify as not religious. The rise in Egypt has reached a multiple percentage. Only Yemen saw a fall in the category from 12% in 2013 to reach 5% in 2018.
Furthermore, the survey included the perceived image of Israel as the biggest threat to stability and national security. The United States was identified as the second biggest threat in the MENA, and Iran was third.
The survey stated that most people across the MENA supported the right of a woman to become prime minister or president. The exception was Algeria where less than 50% agreed that a woman head of state was acceptable, while in Egypt, more than 50% accepted a women’s right to head the state.
However, in domestic life, the majority believe that husbands are the ultimate decision-makers. Moreover, three-quarters of the Egyptian population believed that the husband should have the final decision, but in Morocco fewer than half the population agreed.
Meanwhile, honour killings are more acceptable than homosexuality. In the MENA, there is extremely low acceptance of homosexuality. As an example, in the Palestinian Territories, 8% accept the honour killings but only 5% accept homosexuality. In Algeria, despite having the highest percentage for accepting homosexuality, it also has the highest acceptance of honour killings.
Honour killing is to kill a female family member for bringing dishonour upon the family.
The survey also showed an increasing number of people who are thinking about emigrating.
The increase was in six countries, including Egypt at 30%. However, in Sudan, the percentage of people who want to emigrate has decreased, but the percentage still accounted for half the population.
Meanwhile Yemen and Lebanon saw the biggest decrease of the percentage of emigration.