This House believes the Sunni-Shia conflict is damaging Islam's reputation as a religion of peace
Tuesday April 29 2008
MOTION REJECTED by 39% to 61%
Nearly two thirds of Arabs believe Sunni-Shia conflict is seriously damaging Islam’s reputation as a religion of peace
Doha, Qatar June 9, 2008: Nearly two thirds of Arabs believe that the Sunni-Shia conflict is seriously damaging Islam’s reputation as a religion of peace, according to a YouGov poll commissioned by The Doha Debates.
The survey results contradict the opinions voiced by the majority-Muslim audience at The Doha Debates, filmed on April 29th, who decided 61 percent to 39 percent that Islam's image had not been scarred by the discord between its two largest denominations.
The YouGov poll, which was conducted between May 14th and 21st, surveyed the views of 993 people in the Gulf, Levant, North Africa and Iraq.
It revealed that the Sunni-Shia conflict is widely viewed as a product of the Iraq war, with 77 percent blaming America for instigating sectarian tensions. 80 percent accused clerics on both sides of not doing enough to heal the divisions.
Asked about the causes of the Shia revival, 31 percent said it was due to Iran's growing influence and its support for Shia groups in the Arab world.
Contrary to expectations, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrullah failed to emerge from the poll as the most popular Arab leader. Respondents from all areas voted for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai as the most popular leader in the Arab world.
Polling dates: 14 - 21 May, 2008Download the polling data [PDF]