Isn’t it worrisome when 56% of Arab youth want their countries’ laws to be based on Shariah (Islamic) law, not on civil/common law?

First of all, what is Shariah? It is a religious legal system, which is a code for living for Muslims. It is based on the Quran, Islam’s holy book, and both the Sunnah and Hadith. The latter are the reported acts and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad.

Bearing the above in mind, Dubai-based ASDA’A BCW agency published results of a survey conducted with 3,400 Arab youth, aged 18-24 (half of them males and half females) living in 50 urban centres in 17 different Arab countries. The survey asked questions related to identity, politics, livelihood, global citizenship, lifestyle, etc.

One of the survey questions was related to the Shariah’s law. Despite a brief search, Bambi could not find the wording of this survey question or information on the survey errors. Nevertheless, as shown below, it seems that 56% of participants reported that their countries’ laws must be based on Shariah (Islamic law), not on civil/common law (

Of note, up to 70% of youth from the Gulf countries expressed their preference to have the laws of their states based on Shariah. In North Africa, 60% of youth reported wanting their countries’ laws to be based on Shariah. In comparison, only 41% of Arab youth in the Levant region expressed a similar view. Bambi suspects that this latter finding would vary across countries of the Levant, with Lebanon likely having the lowest percentage of youth expressing such views.

She does not know about you, but Bambi finds it highly worrisome that young Arabs seem to prefer to live under the Shariah law, which is incompatible with democracy, like in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other countries. Why, Bambi cannot help to wonder? It would be highly informative if the next edition of this survey, and others, ask these youth about their reasons to prefer the Shariah law. Ideally, an open-ended survey question, without any predefined answer, would allow them to answer as they wish, that is with their own insights.

2 thoughts on “Isn’t it worrisome when 56% of Arab youth want their countries’ laws to be based on Shariah (Islamic) law, not on civil/common law?”

  1. Culture war, just in a different way than in North America or Europe. Hopefully things will change for the better again.

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