Here are some numbers that were issued today by AlGhad newspaper through a poll conducted on the 13th and 14th of this month by Ipsos stat*
It sampled 1014 people – 64% say there view of Alqueda became negative after the attacks as opposed to 2.1% who said their view became positive
Sociolagist Dr. Musa Shateewi of the University of Jordan said the Jordanian view of Alqueda" is not based on ideological beliefs but rather on the understanding that that AlQueda is an organization that opposes America."
Shateewi went on to say… – 78.2% of those sampled view AlQueda in a "very negative" light whereas 1.5% see it "very positive" and 3.9% say "positive to some extent"
When asked if they saw AlQueda as a Terrorist organization…
– 87.1% said "Yes", 7.4% "No" and 4.6% "Don’t Know"
When asked whether they condemn the actions of AlQueda…
– 86.5% "Yes", 9.6% "No" and 3% "Don’t Know"
When asked whether they sympathsize with AlQueda…
– 91.9 "No", 5.3% "Yes" and 1.7% "Don’t Know"
When asked whether Zarqawi’s actions worked for the benefit of Arab and Islamic issues…
– 94.1% "No", 2.3% "Yes"
When asked whether the acts of AlQueda were in line with Islamic teachings…
– 86.4% "Definitly No", 7.4% "No to some extent", 1.5% "Defenitly Yes", 2.7% "Yes to some extent", 1.7% "Don’t Know" and lastly 4% refused to answer
– Margin of Error = 3.2%
– The majority of the 5.4% that said they supported AlQueda were between 18-24 Years Old. They represent 28.6% of the overall surveryed sample. Dr. Shatweei claims that these are "youths who feel politically frustrated and resort to extremism and violence"
– 2 Months ago an America conducted survey showed 60% of Jordanians supported AlQueda
*I’m not sure if this was the company as it was written in Arabic.
I don’t know exactly what to say here. I actually do not know how accurate these polls are and I’m not talking about margins of error. There are so many things to consider when it comes to our society.
First of all there is a fear. People are afraid to say "yes we support them" because who the hell knows who the hell is on the other end of the line. Whether these fears are well-founded or not is a different story, either way there is that mentality that has been inherited for the past 2 generations or so. Personally I think it’s a reasonable fear to some extent. The fact is this is a country where you can get "in trouble" for saying how you really feel publically. This is not to say the number of cases have not decreased but they’re still around and no ordinary citizen of Jordan can deny them.
Second, the polls are done on the 13th and 14th, only 3 to 4 days after the bombings when there are still protests and when emotions are still running high and things have not gone back to normal. This is not to say that once things do return to that state people will change their minds , but maybe they will, whose to say? A tsunami is still a part of the ocean, still made up of water, but a marine biologist is not going to run water experiments, or at least he wont be getting accurate results.
Third, I fear this poll was rushed because the old survey of "60% supporting" was bound to come up here as an embarassment for the Jordanian government and people. HM King Abdullah II was practically grilled about those polls on "Meet the Press" by Tim Russert where his only answer was really along the lines of "we have polls that show the exact opposite". So I guess everyone can do the math.
Fourth, Whose asking? When I told my father about the poll showing 60% supporting AlQueda a few months ago the first thing he said was "depends on whose asking, if it’s an Ameican then people will scream ‘hell yah i support them’ in to their telephones before hanging up". So it is valid point. Also who was sampled? What part of society? Upper class? Ammanites? Bottom line, it matters who was sampled and by whom.
Lastly, as I was saying in my last post about Jordan making use of this tragedy to increase social reforms and freedoms instead of taking the course of restricting them (post-tragedy), this factor plays a huge role here. As Dr. Shatweei said, these people are politically frustrated. I agree with this 100%. I have been part of that society to know the only people who support AlQueda or the only reason they have to do so is simply out of lack of freedoms in Jordan. They cannot voice their opinion, they play no functioning role in society (so they feel), they are usually poor, uneducated, unemployed. These people literally hate their conditions, hate their lives. They want to just scream out. Above all they want a sense of justice, someone to avenge them and AlQueda seems to do just that. They know little of Islam other than what is taught to them (if that) so if AlQueda says its Islamic they’ll go along with it. More importantly they are reliant on a larger community. Their family, their neighbourhood. So are easily influenced by the thoughts of much older people of an older generation which doesn’t know anything about peace. They’ve experienced only the bitterness of war. So we have to factor in the environment in which they are raised. I’ll bet my life that none of those youths supporting AlQueda are of the middle class elite, ordinary jobs, ordinary lives, maybe even educated outside.
And it remains "Jordan First"