New survey of Arab opinion reveals near universal condemnation of homosexuality

A major new survey of Arab public opinion has found near universal condemnation of homosexuality across 11 Arab countries.

The survey also found that the vast majority of Arabs feel Israel poses the greatest threat to the region, and that Turkish President Erdogan enjoys considerable support.

The findings were revealed in a survey on how Arabs feel about a wide range of issues, from women’s rights and migration to security and sexuality. More than 25,000 people were interviewed for the survey – for BBC News Arabic by the Arab Barometer research network – across 10 countries and the Palestinian territories between late 2018 and spring 2019.

According to the survey, there is widespread to near universal condemnation of homosexuality in Arab countries:

  • 95% of Palestinians consider homosexuality unacceptable
  • 94% of Lebanese consider it unacceptable
  • 93% of Tunisians consider it unacceptable
  • 95% of Jordanians consider it unacceptable
  • 83% of Sudanese consider it unacceptable
  • 79% of Moroccans consider it unacceptable
  • 74% of Algerians consider it unacceptable

Rates of religiosity remain high across the region with almost 90% or above of people saying they were religious. Only Tunisia and Libya bucked the trend with less than 70% of people saying they were religious in Tunisia, and around 75% saying they were religious in Libya.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan enjoys high popularity in Arab countries. In Sudan, Palestine, Jordan and Algeria his popularity stands at around 70% or above, although in Iraq, Lebanon, and Egypt it dips to around 38% or below.

U.S. President Donald Trump has an average popularity rating of 12% across the countries and in Morocco and Yemen the figure is close to zero. Russian President Vladimir Putin has an average rating of 28%.

And the survey revealed that Israel is perceived as the greatest threat to the region by virtually every country, but especially in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq:

  • 79% of Lebanese said Israel was the greatest threat
  • 63% of Palestinians said it was the greatest threat
  • 54% of Iraqis said it was the greatest threat

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