The Washington Post reports that a new poll conducted in eight countries shows that fear of an imminent terrorist attack is one of their top concerns, with most expecting extremist groups will acquire weapons of mass destruction. The survey, which was commissioned by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), showed that many people believe their own governments are not doing enough to protect them from violent extremism.
The survey involved about 8,000 respondents in the United States, France, Britain, Turkey, Egypt, China, India and Indonesia. There were significant differences in perception among countries, with seven out of 10 respondents in Turkey—which has been subject to recent, horrifying terrorism events—saying terrorism was their number one concern. Americans said terrorism was their number two concern, after the economy. The poll was conducted online, which may have affected results because in some countries the respondents would tend to be affluent, urban, and better educated.
Views on motivations for violent extremism are divided between Muslim-minority and Muslim-majority countries, the CSIS report said. “In every country except for Turkey and Egypt, ‘religious fundamentalism’ is identified as the primary root cause of violent extremism. In Turkey, military actions by foreign governments are perceived to be the main driver, while Egyptians cite human rights abuses and poverty. Western countries also consider anti-Western sentiment to contribute to radicalization, with active recruitment mentioned in the United Kingdom and France,” the report explained.
A lack of moderate religious guidance comes out as a secondary influence in Indonesia, Egypt and India, CSIS said. In Indonesia, six out of 10 people said they knew someone who had been a victim of violent extremism. A majority in every country polled, including the United States, approved all 21 options presented to them. The options included requiring identification cards for citizens and visitors; rigorous screening of immigrants; bans on incendiary religious speech; and monitoring of phone calls, emails and social media. READ MORE