Islamism: Global Surveys and Implications for the Future of the Arab Countries


Arno Tausch – Visiting Professor of Political Studies and Governance, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Series: Religion and Society
BISAC: REL037000

This work is a collection of essays on Islamism and global opinion surveys, focusing on their implications for the future of Arab countries. Much of Western academia and the media still seem to be unable to come to terms with the real challenges posed by Islamism two decades after 9/11 and half a decade after the horrendous Paris 2015 terror attacks.

What is at stake is the question of whether moderate Islamist political movements can and should be a partnered with the West. President Obama personally issued the Presidential Study Directive 11 (PSD-11) in 2010, ultimately concluding that the United States should shift from its longstanding policy of supporting “stability” in the Middle East and North Africa to a policy of backing moderate Islamic political movements. The present book squarely contradicts this perspective. Bassam Tibi maintains that only liberal Islam approves of democracy, while Islamism absolutely does not.

The empirical basis of the book is based on estimates of the development of civil society in the Arab World by using comparative opinion survey data based on the evaluation of the World Values Survey and other global and regional surveys. Variables of trust, non-violence, gender justice and tolerance towards homosexuals indicate some of existing deficits in the development of civil societies in the region. Thus, Inglehart and Norris correctly foresaw that the real distinguishing parameter for Huntington’s theory is not societal opinions on democracy but societal opinions on gender issues.

This perspective is followed up with an empirical analysis of the gender ideology of Islamism and its gender values, all based on World Values Survey data. Muslim feminism, which implies the rejection of Islamism and the veil, and the democracy movement in the Muslim world are closely interrelated.

In a chapter on Islamism and anti-Semitism, the book identifies the extent of relationships between anti-Semitism, the current economic and social situation, religious data, and opinions on terrorism among the global Muslim society. Islamism is deeply connected to anti-Semitism.

The book also explores which factors contribute to the approval of terroristic acts, measured by such variables as opinions on suicide bombing and the favorability of terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah. The book shows how wrong it is to neglect the underlying ideological radicalism which characterizes the support of organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates in the region. Along with most radicalized factions of Islamist terrorism, they share intense hatred of Jews and Free Masons and Western civilization.

In a concluding chapter, the book analyzes globalization, the environment in the Arab World and the future “greening” of Arab politics.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Summary of the Main Findings and Perspectives

Chapter 2. The Civic Culture of the Arab World: A Comparative Analysis Based on World Values Survey Data

Chapter 3. lslamism and Gender Relations in the Muslim World as Reflected in World Values Survey Data

Chapter 4. Islamism and Antisemitism: Preliminary Evidence on Their Relationship from Cross-National Opinion Data

Chapter 5. Islamism as Reflected in International Survey Data

Chapter 6. Globalization, the Environment and the Arab World

Chapter 7. Literature and Some Suggested Further Readings

Index of Persons and Authors

Index of Subjects


“Using carefully collected survey data, Tausch had previously demonstrated that the official religious teachings of the Catholic Church towards the religious other do not necessarily trickle down to its most devoted members. Now he is applying similar methods to probe attitudes in Muslim societies towards a host of issues, hopefully opening a window into those societies.” -Arie Folger, Member of the Standing Committee of the European Rabbinical Conference, Member of the Rabbinical Court of Austria and Rabbi of the Bet Midrash Orchot Chajim

“This impressively researched empirical study comes at just the right time: “Islamism” asks for the development potential of the Arab countries and discusses the question of how the West should position itself. Anyone looking for answers to these crucial questions should refer to this book.” -Alexander Pinwinkler, Associate Visiting Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Vienna, Teaches at the Department of History of the University of Salzburg as well as at the Department of Economic and Social History of the University of Vienna

“Arno Tausch has few peers globally with his expertise on the Muslim world. This expertise is demonstrated in “Islamism: Global Surveys and Implications for the Future of the Arab Countries”.  With the Middle East North Africa region in turmoil, now more than ever we need such expertise. This book is a veritable tour de force majestic in its scope and depth as it examines civic culture in the Arab world, anti-Semitism, Islamism and gender relations and the nexus between globalization and the environment and how this impacts the region.” -Professor Hussein Solomon, Head of Department of Political Studies and Governance, University of the Free State, South Africa

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