New York – A recent survey revealed that 93 percent of young Moroccans reject terrorist organizations and believe they represent a “complete perversion of Islam.”
A face-to-face poll by U.S. organization Zogby Research Services (ZRS) conducted between October and November 2015 to 5,374 Muslim youth aged 15-34 in eight Arab countries, regarding Arab Muslim Millenials attitudes on religious identity, religious leadership and religious extremism.
Respondents were surveyed in Morocco, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
According to the study commissioned by the Abu Dhabi-based Tabah Foundation, which interviewed 738 Moroccans from Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat, Meknes, Fez and Tangier.
The poll revealed that 93 percent of Moroccan youth reject religious extremism and believe that terrorist groups, such as the so-called Islamic State and Al Qaeda are a “complete perversion” of the teachings of Islam.
In regards to “religious extremism,” 50 percent of young Moroccans believe that “corrupt, repressive and unrepresentative governments” are a key factor in recruiting youth toward extremist ideas.
The ZRS survey also pointed out that 44 percent of Moroccan youth blame “extreme religious teachings” on recruitment of young jihadists, while 39 percent believe is caused by “poor levels of education.”
According to the same source, 70 percent of Moroccan youth interviewed said “religious leadership”belongs to the country’s Grand Mufti as the only religious leader with the right to interpret and explain religion and say what is “halal” or “haram” (allowed or prohibited).
Meanwhile, 63 percent of young Moroccans obtain their religious ideas from imams (preachers) through television, while only 33 percent follow the teachings of Sheikhs.
As far as identity, the poll noted that 59 percent of Moroccans are defined by their birth country, Morocco, while only 18 percent see themselves first as Arabs and 15 percent as Muslims.
On the other hand, 92 percentMoroccans consider it important that the people they meet know they are Muslims.
Tabah Foundation is a non-profit organization that explores suggestions and recommendations for the benefit of society, while exalting the values of Islam and Arab countries.
Washington D.C.-based ZRS is managed by Dr. James J. Zogby, author of “Arab Voices” and founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), which serves as the political and policy research arm of the Arab American community.