Radical Islam in the Middle East

Recent events in Egypt, with pro-democracy protesters trying to dislodge President Hosni Mubarak from power, have made almost three in five Britons worry that more countries in the Middle East will fall under the influence of radical Islam.

That is the headline finding from a YouGov poll for today’s Sunday Times in which 2,283 adults aged 18 and over were interviewed online on 3 and 4 February. The full results can be viewed at:


17% of respondents said that they were very and 42% fairly worried about the rise of radical Islam in the Middle East. 21% were not very worried and just 7% not worried at all.

12% expressed no opinion, increasing to 17% among women and the under-40s, the groups traditionally least likely to follow this sort of news coverage.

The proportion anxious about radical Islam climbed steadily with age, from 41% among the 18-24s to 75% among the over-60s. It was a fair bit higher among Conservative voters (67%) than Labourites or Liberal Democrats. It was marginally more among men than women, manual than non-manual workers, and outside London.

This pattern of demographics tracks British attitudes to Islam and Muslims more generally, suggesting that the replies to this poll about Egyptian developments were being firmly set within a framework of domestic Islamophobia.

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

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