Egyptians Remain Optimistic, Embrace Democracy and Religion in Political Life

Egypt - Despite economic difficulties and political uncertainty, Egyptians remain upbeat about the course of the nation and prospects for progress. Amid rancorous debates over the presidential election and the shape of a new constitution, most Egyptians continue to want democracy, with two-in-three saying it is the best form of government.

Egyptians also want Islam to play a major role in society, and most believe the Quran should shape the country’s laws, although a growing minority expresses reservations about the increasing influence of Islam in politics. When asked which country is the better model for the role of religion in government, Turkey or Saudi Arabia, 61% say the latter. However, most also endorse specific democratic rights and institutions that do not exist in Saudi Arabia, such as free speech, a free press, and equal rights for women.

Seven-in-ten Egyptians express a favorable view of the Muslim Brotherhood, down just slightly from 75% a year ago. Most (56%) also have a positive opinion of the Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the largest party in the newly elected parliament. The more conservative al-Nour fares less well: 44% have a favorable and 44% an unfavorable view of the Salafist party. Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, a Salafist leader who was recently disqualified as a presidential candidate, gets somewhat better ratings (52% positive, 42% negative).

Presidential contender Amr Moussa receives overwhelmingly positive marks, with 81% expressing a positive opinion of the former Foreign Minister and Arab League chief. Meanwhile, 58% have a favorable view of moderate Islamist presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh.

The April 6th Movement, a loose organization of mostly young and secular activists that played a key role in the demonstrations that forced Hosni Mubarak from office, is rated favorably by 68% of Egyptians. However, the Egyptian Bloc, a mostly secular coalition of political parties, is not popular – just 38% assign it a positive rating.

While many have criticized the military in recent months for its handling of the post-Mubarak transition, it continues to be largely well-regarded. Three-in-four Egyptians believe the military is having a good influence on the country, and 63% hold a positive opinion of the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF). And while favorable ratings for SCAF Chairman Mohamed Tantawi have declined significantly from last year’s 90%, they remain high at 63%.

Most Egyptians support civilian control of the military, but other key institutional features of democracy are considered higher priorities. Roughly six-in-ten (62%) say civilian control is an important priority, but only 24% consider it very important, essentially unchanged from 27% in 2011. In contrast, 81% believe a fair judiciary is very important, similar to last year’s 82%. Views toward other key democratic rights and institutions also show little change since last year.

These are among the principal findings from a nationwide survey of Egypt by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 1,000 adults in Egypt between March 19 and April 10, 2012. The poll finds little change in Egyptian perceptions of the United States. Only 19% offer a positive rating of the U.S. and just 29% express confidence in President Obama. The survey also finds ongoing opposition to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel: 61% prefer to annul the treaty, up from 54% a year ago.

Desire for Democracy, But Also Order and Growth

Egyptians continue to voice confidence in democracy. Two-thirds consider it preferable to any other kind of government, while just 19% say in some circumstances a non-democratic form of government may be best, and just 13% believe it doesn’t really matter what kind of government rules the country. Roughly six-in-ten (61%) think democracy is best-suited for solving the country’s problems, while only 33% say a leader with a strong hand would be better equipped for dealing with these challenges.

At the same time, it is clear that Egyptians also want law and order: six-in-ten consider this a very important priority. And the economy remains a major concern. About eight-in-ten (81%) say improving economic conditions should be a top priority. Just 27% describe the country’s economic situation as good, down from 34% in 2011. Still, on balance, Egyptians remain optimistic about their economic future: 50% expect the economy to improve over the next 12 months, only 20% think it will worsen, and 28% believe it will stay about the same.

A growing number of Egyptians sees Islam as playing a major role in the political life of the country – 66% currently compared with 47% in 2010. For the most part, those who believe Islam is playing a large role see this as good for the country, but more disagree with that view this year than last. Conflicting views about the role of religion in politics are also seen in the significant numbers who say Saudi Arabia is the best model for Egypt, yet endorse key features of democracy. Among those who choose Saudi Arabia over Turkey as the best model for Egypt, two-thirds also say democracy is preferable to any other kind of government. More than six-in-ten say it is very important to live in a country with a free press (64%), honest multiparty elections (63%), and freedom of speech (61%).

U.S. Image Still Negative

America’s image remains overwhelmingly negative – only 19% offer a favorable opinion of the U.S., basically unchanged from 20% in 2011. But a large majority does not see the U.S. as having a major influence on political developments in Egypt.

Egyptian opinions about President Obama have grown steadily more negative over the course of his presidency. In a 2009 poll conducted a few months after he took office, Egyptians were divided over the new American president: 42% expressed a great deal or some confidence that he would do the right thing in world affairs; 47% said they had little or no confidence.1 Today, 29% have confidence in Obama, while 69% lack confidence.

Although the U.S. has sent billions of dollars in aid to Egypt over the last few decades, few believe it is helping the country. Indeed, roughly six-in-ten say both American military and economic aid are having a mostly negative impact on Egypt.

Despite these negative sentiments, a majority of Egyptians says either they want the U.S.-Egypt relationship to stay about as close as it has been in recent years (35%) or become even closer (20%), while 38% would like to see relations become less close.

Overall, Egyptians believe the U.S. exerts a limited influence on their country’s tumultuous politics. When asked whether the American response to Egypt’s political situation is having a positive or negative impact, 62% say it is having neither.

Moreover, few believe there is a hidden Western hand behind the country’s ongoing protests. Just 21% say the demonstrations are a result of Western efforts to destabilize Egypt, while 74% think the protests reflect genuine Egyptian discontent with the country’s political situation.

Also of Note

Six-in-ten say the People’s Assembly, Egypt’s newly elected lower house of parliament, is having a positive influence on the country, while 39% believe it is having a negative effect.

Four-in-ten believe that under an FJP-led government women will have more rights than they had in the past, while 27% say they will have fewer rights. Roughly three-in-ten (31%) think women will have about the same rights as in the past.

Views toward one-time presidential hopeful Mohamed ElBaradei have soured. In 2011, 57% held a positive view of the former International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) chief, while just 39% rated him negatively. Now opinions are divided: 48% favorable, 50% unfavorable.

Fayza Abul Naga, the Egyptian Cabinet official who led efforts to prosecute American NGO representatives (as well as representatives from Egyptian and other foreign NGOs) enjoys little popularity. Abul Naga, who is a holdover from the Mubarak era, receives a favorable rating from 35% of Egyptians, while 50% offer a negative assessment.


The Egyptian national mood improved dramatically following the February 2011 resignation of Hosni Mubarak, and today Egyptians remain generally positive about their country’s path and its future prospects. Still, less than half say things have actually gotten better for Egyptians since Mubarak left office, and few describe the current economic situation as good. Moreover, lower-income Egyptians are decidedly less upbeat about current conditions in the country, as well as its future direction.

The survey finds little consensus regarding what the future may hold for women and religious minorities under a government led by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP). A 40%-plurality says women will have more rights, while a similar percentage say religious minorities will have fewer rights.

National Mood Still Mostly Positive

On balance, Egyptians believe the country is currently headed in the right direction, with 53% saying they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country, down from 65% in 2011, but still considerably higher than in the final years of the Mubarak era.

Low-income Egyptians are more downbeat about the state of the nation. Only 42% of those with a low household income are satisfied with the country’s direction, compared with 64% of those in the high- income category and 60% of middle-income respondents.2 Last year, low-, middle-, and high-income Egyptians were about equally satisfied with the way things were going in the country.

Views about the country’s direction are also related to education. Roughly two-thirds of college graduates (66%) are satisfied with the way things are going, compared with 53% of those with a secondary education and 46% of Egyptians with a primary education or


Egyptians, on balance, remain hopeful about the future: 52% say they are optimistic, just 18% are pessimistic, and 28% volunteer they are neither pessimists nor optimists. This is very similar to last year, when 57% were optimistic, 16% pessimistic, and 26% said neither.

Optimism is especially common among wealthier Egyptians. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of those with high incomes are positive about the future, compared with 51% of middle- and 49% of low-income respondents.

Economy Seen as Weak, But Most Remain Optimistic

Views about Egypt’s economy are largely negative. Only 27% describe the national economic situation as good, down from 34% last year.

However, while few believe the nation’s current economic situation is good, half of Egyptians expect it to improve over the next 12 months, down slightly from 2011 when 56% believed the country’s economy would improve in the coming year. Currently, just 20% think the Egyptian economy will worsen in the next 12 months, while 28% expect it to stay about the same.

Poor Egyptians are less optimistic. While 57% of both high- and middle-income Egyptians expect the economy to improve, just 42% of low-income respondents share this view.

Mixed Assessments of the Post-Mubarak Era

Less than half of Egyptians say things have improved in the country since Mubarak was forced from office. Just over four-in-ten (44%) say Egypt is better off now that Mubarak is not in power, 26% believe the country is worse off, and another 26% say things are neither better nor worse.

Opinions on this question are closely linked to how people assess the national economy. Fully 76% of those who say the economy is in good shape believe things are better since Mubarak was deposed. In contrast, only 32% of those describing the economy as bad believe the country is better off now that Mubarak is out of power.

The Future for Women and Religious Minorities

Opinions are mixed about what the future will be like for women and religious minorities in a political environment dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and its political party, the FJP. A 40%-plurality thinks women will have more rights under a FJP-led government than they have had in the past; 27% say they will have fewer rights; and 31% say they will have about the same rights. Men and women generally share the same views on this question.

Meanwhile, 40% of Egyptians think religious minorities will have fewer rights under an FJP government. Only 22% believe religious minorities will have more rights and 35% believe they will have about the same rights as they do now.


Despite the country’s ongoing political conflict, many of the organizations and leaders that played key roles in last year’s upheaval, such as the military, the Muslim Brotherhood and the April 6 Movement, remain popular.

While the military’s ratings may have dropped somewhat since 2011, a majority of Egyptians continues to hold a positive view of the military, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), and SCAF’s Chairman Mohamed Tantawi.

The Muslim Brotherhood also continues to be highly regarded. Opinions toward other religious groups and leaders, however, are mixed. The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political party affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a moderate Islamist who broke with the Muslim Brotherhood to run for president, are slightly less well-reviewed. Egyptians are less favorable toward more conservative religious parties and leaders, such as al-Nour and Hazem Salah Abu Ismail.

Amr Moussa, prior Secretary General of the Arab League and a former foreign minister under Mubarak, is the most popular among the political leaders asked about in the survey. Other secular leaders and groups do not fare as well. Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the IAEA and an important figure in the protests against Mubarak, has dropped somewhat in favorability since 2011. The Egyptian Bloc, a coalition of liberal and secular political parties, is also rated negatively.

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Fayza Abul Naga, who was instrumental in the recent investigation of American non-governmental organizations operating in Egypt, receives poor ratings.

Political institutions, such as the court system and the People’s Assembly, receive mostly positive reviews for their influence on the country. The local police, however, are generally viewed negatively.

Rating Institutions

Religious leaders and the military continue to be the most highly-rated groups in Egypt. About eight-in-ten (83%) Egyptians say religious leaders have a very or somewhat good influence on the country, including 36% who say their influence is very good.

Despite the considerable political turmoil that has surrounded the military over the past year, a broad majority (75%) of Egyptians continues to say it has a good influence, including 43% who say very good. While ratings for the military remain high, positive ratings have fallen by 13 points since 2011. The drop has been especially large among women and lower-income respondents. In 2011, 58% of women said the military’s influence was very good; today, only 38% say the same. Among lower-income Egyptians, the change was from 69% saying very good in 2011 to 46% now.

The media – such as television, radio, newspapers, and magazines – receives high marks from all sectors of Egyptian society, with 70% of the public expressing a positive assessment.

Other institutions that do well are the court system, the People’s Assembly, and the Central Security Forces. The court system is rated positively by 61% of Egyptians, falling somewhat from 67% in 2011. Similarly, about six-in-ten believe the People’s Assembly (60%) and the Central Security Forces (63%), a national law enforcement organization, have a very or somewhat good influence.

Opinions about the local police are much more negative. Just over a third (37%) of Egyptians views the local police as having a good influence, while a majority (62%) rates it as very or somewhat bad, including 35% who say very bad.

Rating Political Groups and Parties

The Muslim Brotherhood and April 6 Movement – two key groups involved in last year’s Tahrir Square demonstrations – continue to be viewed favorably, as they were right after the uprising in 2011. About seven-in-ten Egyptians rate both groups positively, including almost a third who give both groups a very favorable rating.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is also well-regarded by a majority, despite recent concerns that SCAF will not hand over power to a democratically-elected president next month. About six-in-ten (63%) Egyptians have a positive attitude toward SCAF, including 20% very favorable.

Among the major political parties included on the survey, the Freedom and Justice Party and al-Wafd Party, a secular party which has held legal status since 1978, receive the highest ratings. The FJP is reviewed positively by 56% of Egyptians and 52% are favorable toward al-Wafd.

Egyptians are divided on both al-Wasat Party, a group that broke away from the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1990’s, and al-Nour Party, the largest party associated with the conservative Salafists. Just under half (46%) rate al-Wasat positively and a similar percentage (48%) rates them negatively. Equal percentages (44%) are favorable and unfavorable toward al-Nour.

The liberal, secular Egyptian Bloc is the least popular of the major political groups that hold seats in the People’s Assembly. About four-in-ten (38%) Egyptians hold favorable opinions of the Egyptian Bloc and nearly half (47%) are unfavorable.

Since Mubarak left office in 2011, there has been considerable political conflict between the Freedom and Justice Party, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and the

Egyptian Bloc. Despite this conflict at the elite level, the supporters of these various groups among the public do not exhibit the same level of polarization. Instead, people who are favorable toward one of these organizations tend to also view the other groups positively. For example, among those who rate the Egyptian Bloc favorably, over half also rate the FJP (54%) and SCAF (70%) positively. Among those who are favorable toward the FJP, 80% are favorable toward SCAF. And among SCAF supporters, 72% are positive toward the FJP. These patterns suggest the general public is not yet making strong distinctions between the leading political groups.

Rating Political Leaders

Current presidential candidate Amr Moussa is very popular with the Egyptian public: 81% give him favorable ratings, down only slightly from 89% in 2011.

Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi is also well-regarded by a majority (63%) of Egyptians, although his favorability rating has fallen from last year’s 90%. The decline has been especially steep among women: 59% express a positive view of him now, compared with 92% a year ago.

Ayman Nour, founder of the liberal al-Ghad party and a critic of SCAF, receives high marks from 61% of Egyptians. Similarly, about six-in-ten (58%) rate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh positively.

The public expresses less favorable opinions about both Hazem Salah Abu Ismail and Mohamed ElBaradei. Abu Ismail, a conservative Salafist presidential candidate who was recently disqualified from the race, receives favorable reviews from 52% of Egyptians and unfavorable reviews from 42%.

ElBaradei’s favorable ratings have slipped somewhat from 57% in 2011 to 48% today. Support for ElBaradei has dropped the most among younger people – his strongest supporters in 2011 (65% favorable) are now his weakest (46% favorable).

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Fayza Abul Naga is the least popular among the political leaders included on the survey. Just over a third (35%) of Egyptians are favorable toward Abul Naga, while half (50%) are unfavorable and 15% offer no opinion.


As their country grapples with a difficult political transition, Egyptians continue to believe democracy is the best form of government and most trust it more than a strong leader to solve the nation’s problems. Moreover, Egyptians not only value democracy in a general sense – they also value specific features of a democratic society. For instance, solid majorities say it is very important to live in a country with a fair judiciary, a free media, and freedom of speech. Still, the economy also remains a top priority, and Egyptians are almost equally divided over whether a good democracy or a strong economy is more important for their country.

Democracy Is a Priority, But So Is Economy

Two-thirds of Egyptians believe democracy is preferable to any other type of government. Just 19% say in some circumstances, a non-democratic form of government may be preferable, while 13% say that, for someone like them, it does not matter what kind of government Egypt has.

This is basically unchanged from last year, when 71% said democracy was the best form of government. Confidence in democracy is somewhat higher now than in 2010, when six-in-ten Egyptians said it was preferable to other political systems.

Most continue to believe a democratic government, rather than a strong leader, is best equipped to deal with the country’s problems. Roughly six-in-ten (61%) hold this view, similar to last year’s 64%, but significantly higher than the 50% registered in 2007.

Opinions are divided, however, when Egyptians are asked to choose between democracy and the economy. About half (48%) say a good democracy is more important and about half (49%) say a strong economy should be the priority. Results on this question were almost exactly the same one year ago.

Most Value Specific Democratic Rights, Institutions

Egyptians believe many key features of democracy are crucial to their country’s future. Roughly eight-in-ten (81%) say it is very important to live in a country with a fair judicial system, and solid majorities rate a free press (62%), free speech (60%), and honest multiparty elections (58%) as very important.

Other key democratic rights and institutions, while considered at least somewhat important by a majority of Egyptians, do not register as top priorities. In particular, only 24% say that having a military that is under control of civilian leaders is very important. Less than half say that equal rights for women (41%), religious freedom for minorities (38%), and uncensored internet access (35%) are very important.

And while most Egyptians value democracy, it is clear that the economy and social order also rank as high priorities. About eight-in-ten (81%) believe improved economic conditions are very important and 60% say this about law and order.


Most Egyptians continue to believe that Islam is playing a positive role in their country’s politics, although the percentage who say its role is negative has increased from a miniscule 2% in 2010 to 25% today.

Egyptians clearly want Islam to play a role in shaping the nation’s laws – indeed, a majority says Egypt’s laws should strictly adhere to the Quran. And most say they see Saudi Arabia as a model for the role of religion in government, rather than more secular Turkey.

Laws Should Be Based on Quran

Six-in-ten Egyptians want their laws to strictly follow the Quran. About a third (32%) want them to conform to the principles of Islam but not strictly follow the Quran, and just 6% say the Quran should not have an influence.

Laws Should Be Based on Quran

Six-in-ten Egyptians want their laws to strictly follow the Quran. About a third (32%) want them to conform to the principles of Islam but not strictly follow the Quran, and just 6% say the Quran should not have an influence.

These attitudes are virtually unchanged from 2011, when 62% said strictly follow the Quran, 27% wanted to just follow the principles of Islam, and 5% said no influence.

Older Egyptians are especially likely to believe laws should strictly follow the Quran: more than two-thirds of those 50 or older (68%) agree with this position, compared with about half (54%) of 18-29 year-olds.

A similar split arises by education. For example, 68% of those with a primary education or less want to strictly follow the Quran, while just 55% of the college-educated want the same.

Egyptians with a secondary or college education are now 12 points less likely than in 2011 to believe the country’s laws should strictly follow the Quran. On the other hand, among those with a primary education or less, the percentage who hold this view has increased by 10 points.

More Say Islam Plays a Large Role

The view that Islam plays a large role in the political life of Egypt has increased from 47% in 2010, a year before the uprising against Mubarak, to 66% today. The percentage saying it plays a small role has dropped 13 points since 2010, from 48% to 35%.

The percentage who believe that Islam has a great deal of influence and say it is a bad thing has increased from just 1% in 2010 to 20% today. Meanwhile, those who believe the role of Islam is small and this is bad for the country decreased from 37% to 24%.

Younger people are especially likely to believe that a large role for Islam is bad for the country. About a quarter (27%) of 18-29 year-olds say Islam is a considerable influence and that this is bad, compared with just 15% of those 50 and older.

Majority Chooses Saudi Arabia as Model for Religion and Politics

When asked whether Saudi Arabia or Turkey serves as the better model for the role of religion in government, a majority (61%) says Saudi Arabia, while 17% choose Turkey and another 22% volunteer that neither is a model.

Opinions on this question are strongly related to general attitudes about the role of religion in politics. Among those who see a positive role for Islam in Egyptian politics, 71% choose Saudi Arabia; among those who see a negative role, just 48% do the same.

Despite admiring Saudi Arabia for its emphasis on religion, Egyptians also broadly desire a democracy. Nearly equal percentages of those who choose Turkey (71%) and those who choose Saudi Arabia (67%) say democracy is preferable to any other form of government.


Opinions of the U.S. and President Obama continue to be overwhelmingly unfavorable. Even American financial assistance is viewed negatively: about six-in-ten Egyptians say both U.S. military and economic aid is having a detrimental impact on their country.

Despite these decidedly negative attitudes, most Egyptians want their country’s relationship with the U.S. to stay about as close as it is currently or become even closer. About four-in-ten (38%) would like to see a more distant relationship between the two countries.

While the conflict over American NGOs’ democracy-promotion efforts in Egypt severely strained bilateral relations with the U.S., few Egyptians believe that Western powers are behind the country’s ongoing protests.

Poor Ratings for the U.S. and Obama

The tremendous political changes that have taken place in Egypt since the end of the Mubarak era have not led to a major shift in perceptions of the U.S. Roughly eight-in-ten Egyptians (79%) express unfavorable attitudes toward the U.S., with just 19% saying favorable. This is essentially unchanged from 2011, when 79% were unfavorable and 20% were favorable.

President Obama also receives low marks from most Egyptians. About seven-in-ten (69%) say they do not have confidence in him to do the right thing in world affairs; just 29% have a lot or some confidence in his actions. There has been a steady decrease in confidence in Obama since 2009, when Egyptian opinions about the new American leader were nearly split, with 42% expressing confidence and 47% saying not much or none at all.

Views toward President Obama have become considerably more negative over the last year among younger Egyptians. In 2011, 44% of 18-29 year-olds had a lot or some confidence in President Obama. Today, just 24% say the same. Attitudes toward the U.S. leader have remained constant among other age groups since 2011.

Negligible Impact of U.S. on Political Situation

Most Egyptians (62%) believe the U.S. has had neither a good nor bad influence on the political situation in their country. Roughly one-in-five (21%) say the impact is negative, while 15% believe it is positive.

Despite some claims that American NGO’s were trying to stir up discontent, only 21% of Egyptians say recent protests are due to attempts by Western powers to destabilize the country. Instead, a broad majority (74%) believes they are the result of genuine Egyptian dissatisfaction with the current political situation.

Little Support for U.S. Aid

There is no consensus among Egyptians as to whether American financial assistance to their country is primarily economic or military. A plurality (34%) believes the aid is mostly to help Egypt develop economically, while 23% say the aid is mostly military. Nearly three-in-ten (28%) believe it is divided equally between economic and military assistance, and 14% offer no opinion.

Both types of American aid are viewed negatively by Egyptians. About six-in-ten (61%) say U.S. military aid has a harmful influence on Egypt, while just 11% believe its impact is positive, and 25% say it has no impact. Similarly, 61% consider U.S. economic aid harmful, while the remainder of the public is split between positive views (21%) and the belief that the aid has no impact (17%).

Still, Less Than Half Want a More Distant Relationship'

Despite the broadly negative opinions toward the U.S., less than half of the Egyptian public (38%) wants the relationship between the two nations to be less close. The remainder of the public either wants the relationship to be about as close as it is now (35%) or closer (20%).

Opinions on this question are very similar to 2011, when 43% of Egyptians said they would like to be less close to the U.S, 40% about as close, and 15% closer.

Attitudes toward the bilateral relationship are strongly related to views about American aid. Those who believe economic and military aid have a harmful impact on Egypt are significantly more likely to say they prefer a more distant relationship. For example, among those who say economic aid has a negative impact, 51% want a less close relationship with the U.S., compared with 19% of those who think economic assistance is having a positive impact.

Over the last year, Egyptians age 50 and older have become less negative about their country’s future relationship with the U.S. In 2011, 45% of the older age group wanted a less close relationship, compared with 32% today. There has been no significant change on this question among Egyptians under 50.

Treaty With Israel

Most Egyptians favor overturning the 1979 peace treaty in which Egypt became the first Arab country to formally recognize Israel. Roughly six-in-ten (61%) want to annul the treaty, up slightly from last year (54%). Just under a third (32%) want to maintain it.

Opposition to the treaty has grown significantly over the last year among young people and the highly educated. Support for annulling the treaty has increased by 14 points among 18-29 year-olds and by 18 points among the college-educated.


The survey in Egypt is part of the larger Spring 2012 Pew Global Attitudes survey conducted in 21 countries under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

Results for the survey in Egypt are based on 1,000 face-to-face interviews conducted March 19 to April 10, 2012. The survey is representative of the country’s adult population. It uses a multi-stage cluster sample design stratified by governorates proportional to population size and urban/rural population; about 2% of the population that lives in Frontier governorates is excluded for security reasons. All interviews were conducted in Arabic.

The margin of sampling error is ±4.2 percentage points. For the results based on the full sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus the margin of error. In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.