Egyptians back sharia law, end of Israel treaty, poll shows

Pew survey shows 60% of Egyptians polled wants laws that follow Islamic teachings
About 60 percent of Egyptians surveyed said “laws should strictly follow the teachings” of Islam’s holy book
By Bloomberg
Tue 26 Apr 2011 12:09 PM

A
majority of Egyptians wants the country’s peace treaty with Israel to be
annulled and says its laws should “strictly” follow the teachings of the Koran,
a survey by Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project found.

Fifty-four
percent of 1,000 Egyptians surveyed want the government to end the peace treaty
with the Jewish state, Pew said in an emailed statement. About 60 percent of
those surveyed said “laws should strictly follow the teachings” of Islam’s holy
book.

The
Washington-based center conducted the survey between March 24 and April 7, more
than a month after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, who had maintained
the peace treaty with Israel signed in 1979 by his predecessor Anwar Sadat.

“Egyptians
of all ages, from all walks of life, and parts of the country continue to
celebrate the dramatic political changes their nation has undergone,” Pew said
in the release. “Overwhelmingly, they say it is good that former president
Hosni Mubarak is gone.”

Under
Mubarak, Egypt had maintained a blockade of the Gaza Strip with Israel after
the Islamist movement Hamas took power in the coastal enclave in 2007. The two
countries signed a 2005 agreement to exempt Egyptian exports to the US from
custom tariffs if they contained an Israeli component. Egypt also sells natural
gas to Israel, and prosecutors last week ordered the detention of former Oil
Minister Sameh Fahmy and five ex- officials amid an investigation into the
agreement.

The
Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s biggest opposition group during Mubarak’s
three-decade rule, repeatedly criticized the former president for maintaining
what it saw as close ties with Israel.

Seventy-five
percent of Egyptians surveyed had a favourable view of the Islamist group,
though only 17 percent said the Brotherhood should lead the next government,
the survey found. It said the margin of error for the poll is four percentage
points.

Of
the politicians who have announced plans to run for president, Arab League
Secretary-General and former Foreign Minister Amre Moussa came out top with a
“very favourable” rating of 41 percent.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the former director
of the United Nations nuclear agency had a 25 percent rating, with Ayman Nour,
a lawyer who came a distant second to Mubarak in the 2005 elections, on 32
percent, the poll found.

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