Actually I don’t know why I said that as polls are obviously not a reflection on society in its entirety but rather a sample of society that is polled.
On November 15th 2005, less than 6 days more or less from the Amman bombings, a survey was published which found from a sample of 1014 Jordanians:
64% said there view of Alqueda became negative after the attacks and 78.2% said they view AlQueda in a “very negative” light
This latest poll, carried out through the first week of December 2005, claims that 78.9% of respondents view AlQueda under Bin Laden as a terrorist organization and 72.2% see AlQueda under Zarqawi as terrorist organization.
I find these polls highly inaccurate. I am convinced the first poll carried out right after the bombings was completely flawed. You just can’t ask people “what do you think of Zarqawi and Bin Laden” the very next day after they bomb your capital city. People are running high on emotions and this clouds and potential for an honest answer. Not to mention the fear that they may be persecuted for answering anything other than what the government wants to hear.
These latest polls were conducted less than a month after the bombings. This is in the aftermath of a few weeks where Jordanians buried their dead, visited the wounded, set up charities and fundraisers to help the victims, changes in the government, uncertainties and so on and so forth. Again, the results you are going to get are not accurate at all.
The first poll was done in an obvious attempt to cover up the embarrassing polls of 2004 which showed the majority of Jordanians actually supported Zarqawi, Bin Laden and AlQueda. These are the same figures which the western media was eager to jump on.
Two things I find strange here. The first is that there is a small but noticeable gap between the view on Bin Laden and the view on Zarqawi. Why is Bin Laden higher I’m forced to ask?
The second thing concerns Hizballah and Hamas. I find it very difficult to believe the shifting change in views of both organizations as terrorists. Both figures more or less doubled in numbers. There have not been any major events of late that may have been the cause of this shift. So again I ask why? I have my own theory but I’m keeping it to myself.
Finally, here is the biggest factor which played into these numbers…
The poll, the second by CSS on the issue of terrorism, was conducted on two samples. The national sample consisted of 1,417 respondents distributed throughout the Kingdom, and the public opinion leaders sample (POL) of 669 respondents divided among seven groups, including businesspeople, political party leaders, professionals (lawyers, doctors, engineers and dentists), members of the media, leaders of professional associations, trade unions, high-ranking officials and university professors
Why is it important to know who exactly was sampled. Well as we can see here the majority of those sampled were more or less your everyday citizen and the other 669 were well educated and financially stable (upper middle class and onwards) professionals, including high ranking officials.
Now of the former only HALF saw Ben Laden’s Al Qaeda to be a terrorist organization while around three quarters of respondents described Zarqawi’s Al Qaeda. In other words the people who we shall call the “common folk” saw that Zarqawi was more of a terrorist.
Now the latter, who we shall call the “semi-elite”, had them at 73.4% when it came to AlQueda/Bin Laden as terrorists and 84.6% for Zarqawi.
The semi-elite were much higher on both accounts, and more disturbingly with the Bin Laden question.
The difference between the two can also be seen in the following excerpt:
The majority of opinion leaders view the subway bombings in London, Sharm El Sheikh attacks, and the Amman hotel bombings as acts of terrorism (respectivly, 92 per cent, 95 per cent, 96 per cent). While two-thirds, or 63 per cent, of national sample respondents view the London bombings as terrorist acts, three quarters, or 77.4 per cent, view Sharm El Sheikh blasts as terrorist and 94 per cent find the Amman attacks as terrorist as well.
Now while stupidity may hinder the comprehension and the corresponding view of the first two, I find myself irritably in disbelief at the 96 and 94 numbers when it comes to Amman. Imagine, there are actually people IN Jordan who don’t see the Amman bombings as a terrorist act.
The survey goes on to outline other issues such as Iraqi resistance of American occupation and the killing of civilians, but the numbers here are more or less insignificant as they changed very little and the majority still see the resistance as legitimate and the American occupation as a terrorist act.
Again, take these numbers with a grain of salt, if for nothing other than what I outlined here over a month and a half ago.
Disclaimer: the above was my own take on the poll and nothing more. I could be wrong, I could be right and I could be both. It’s just another blogger’s opinion.