06 September 2021

In a new opinion poll conducted by TRENDS Research and Advisory about recent European approaches toward political Islam groups, experts and specialists have warned against the threat these groups present to European society and expressed strong support for recent European laws and measures to curb this danger.

The opinion poll, carried out by TRENDS’ Global Barometer Department, focused on measuring the risk posed by political Islam groups to European societies, and the extent to which experts and specialists support the laws and measures taken by European countries to restrict the activities of these groups.

Conducted over two weeks, the opinion poll showed that a large majority of the respondents believe that political Islam groups pose a great danger to European societies. 78 percent of the total respondents said Daesh and Al-Qaeda pose the greatest danger, followed by the Muslim Brotherhood (74 percent), Turkish-affiliated groups (66 percent), and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement (69 percent).

From the total number of respondents, 78 percent expressed their support for the laws and measures taken by European countries to limit the activities of political Islam groups. 45 percent of those who are supportive of these laws and measures said they would significantly contribute to curbing the activities of political Islam groups, while 45 percent said they would contribute to a medium degree.

67 percent of the respondents expected the laws and measures taken by the European countries to affect the Muslim communities in Europe, with 22 percent of them expecting a positive effect, 32 percent expecting a negative effect, while 46 percent expressed no view on whether the effect would be positive or negative.

Also, 30 percent of the respondents expected other European countries, such as the United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries, to make similar laws and implement similar measures toward political Islam groups in the future.

67 percent of the respondents said the reason that led the European countries covered – France, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland – to take action against political Islam groups was the “extremism of these groups, which may lead to the use of violence”.

90 percent believe that the Muslim Brotherhood has influence in Europe, with 52 percent of them saying the group has a very significant influence. 25 percent said that the contribution of the Muslim Brotherhood’s funds to the economies of European countries influences Europe’s decisions related to the Middle East issues.

The opinion poll showed that 51 percent of the respondents believed that the Muslim Brotherhood group very significantly influences Muslims in Europe. 61 percent of respondents expressed their support for designating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization in Europe, while 60 percent said the reason why the Muslim Brotherhood group has not yet been declared a terrorist organization in Europe is that “the European countries use the group in internal political issues, especially those relating to the Muslim communities in Europe”.

Male participants in the poll constituted 89 percent of the sample compared to 11 percent of females. Participants were selected from different age groups and education levels. 57 percent of the sample hold postgraduate degrees and 43 percent hold bachelor’s degrees. 62 percent of the respondents were specialists in political issues, 21 percent in sociology, 15 percent in security and military affairs, and 2 percent in economic affairs. 74 percent of the respondents were Arabs and 26 percent from other nationalities. The poll showed that 81 percent of the respondents follow the issues and activities of political Islam groups in general.

Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Ali, CEO of TRENDS Research and Advisory, said the opinion poll carried out by the Global Barometer Department on the views of experts and specialists regarding recent European laws and measures toward political Islam groups was part of TRENDS’ mission to analyze the phenomenon of political Islam from a scientific and academic perspective within its national, regional and international contexts.

Al-Ali added that TRENDS has become a noted reference point for studies of political Islam and its future prospects, and the participation of an elite group of researchers and specialists reflects the high degree of awareness among all about the importance of opinion polls in assessing trends and challenges and in developing research-based solutions.

Dr. Al-Ali emphasized that opinion polls are part of TRENDS’ societal responsibility, and the findings of this poll would support decision makers and help them identify priorities and challenges and come up with effective solutions. He explained that opinion polls enhance the global orientation of TRENDS and serve the general goals it seeks to achieve using artificial intelligence.

For his part, Fahad Essa Al-Mahri, Director of the Global Barometer Department, said this opinion poll, which targeted a specific group of researchers and experts, reflect the awareness of TRENDS about the importance of opinion polls in obtaining information and diagnosing developments and events. He added that the findings of the opinion poll show the importance of the views of researchers and academics in formulating a clear vision that serves scientific research and decision makers.