Libya and Radical Islam

Among the public’s many concerns about the current crisis in Libya is a fear that it may result in the country falling under the influence of radical Islam.

That is one of the findings from a YouGov poll conducted online for The Sunday Times between 31 March and 1 April 2011 among a representative sample of 2,226 Britons aged 18 and over. The relevant data will be found on page 9 of the tables available at:

11% of adults said that they were very worried and a further 34% fairly worried about Libya coming under radical Islamic influence. The combined figure of 45% rose to 61% among the over-60s, 52% in northern England, 51% in Scotland, and 51% for electors who had voted Conservative at the 2010 general election.

A mere 8% were not worried at all about Libya falling under the influence of radical Islam, the highest proportion being among the under-40s (11%). 27% said that they were not very worried, while 20% expressed no opinion.

These concerns may be partly informed by the recent suggestion made by a senior NATO commander that al-Qaeda may be involved in the Libyan rebellion against Colonel Gaddafi, an assertion long made by Gaddafi himself.

The results of this latest YouGov poll have echoes in the organization’s earlier survey on 3-4 February, when the focus was on the campaign (eventually successful) to dislodge President Mubarak from power in Egypt.

At that time, 59% of Britons were very or fairly worried about the rise of radical Islam in the Middle East, with just 7% not worried at all. See our earlier post at:

British Religion in Numbers: All the material published on this website is subject to copyright. We explain further here.

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