Thursday, May 05, 2011

Palestinian Arabs become more Islamist

In a new Near East Consulting survey of Palestinian Arabs (from Wafa):

57% identified themselves as Muslims first, 21% identified themselves as Palestinians first, 19% as human beings first and 5% as Arabs first.

This surprised me, as I would have swapped the "Arab" and "Muslim" categories. Certainly these numbers would have been much different before 1967. It indicates the increased Islamism of the Palestinian Arabs.


The increase in adherence to religious identity is also reflected in the system preferred by the Palestinian people.

About 40% of the respondents said that they believe that the Islamic caliphate is the best system for Palestinians, 24% chose a system like one of the Arab countries, and 12 % prefer a system like one of the European countries.
Again, this is in contradiction to previous polls that indicated that Palestinian Arabs admire Israel's democracy to any other system, but those polls probably didn't mention the caliphate as an option.

Put together, it looks like pan-Islamism has nearly replaced pan-Arabism in the minds of Palestinian Arabs, which does not bode well if their restless neighbors are also heading in that direction.

(h/t Challah Hu Akbar)