The majority of Saudis, Kuwaitis, and Emiratis reject ISIS, according to a September 2014 poll by the Washington Institute. But while less than five percent of respondents in the three Gulf states support ISIS, sizeable minorities hold favorable views of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian offshoot, Hamas. Majorities in the countries surveyed also favor a peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and hold negative views on the governments of Syria, Iran, and the United States. The following slides depict the main findings of the survey and key data points.

  • Five percent of Saudis, and even fewer Kuwaitis and Emiratis, express a favorable view of ISIS.
  • Other Islamist groups are viewed much more positively, with 31 percent of Saudis, 34 percent of Kuwaitis, and 29 percent of Emiratis expressing support for the Muslim Brotherhood. 52 percent of Saudis, 53 percent of Kuwaitis, and 44 percent of Emiratis support Hamas.
  • Majorities in all three countries support peaceful resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, ranging from 53 percent in Kuwait to 58 percent in the UAE and 61 percent in Saudi Arabia.
  • Respondents had negative views of the Syrian and Iranian governments. Less than 15 percent in all three countries had favorable views of Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime, and less than a third hold a positive view of Iran’s government.
  • Support for the United States in these countries is also low, with 47 percent of Saudis, 45 percent of Kuwaitis, and 38 percent of Emiratis holding a “very negative” view of the United States.
  • The poll was conducted by a leading commercial survey firm in the Middle East, and includes a probability sample of 1,000 citizens in each country. Foreign workers were not included.

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