Is there a demographic crisis in the Middle East?
Dalia Mogahed is a Senior Analyst and Executive Director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, a nonpartisan research center dedicated to providing data-driven analysis on the views of Muslim populations around the world. With John L. Esposito, Ph.D., she is coauthor of the book Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think. Her analysis has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy magazine, the Harvard International Review, the Middle East Policy journal, and many other academic and popular journals. She travels the globe engaging diverse groups on what Muslims around the world really think.
Mogahed leads the analysis of Gallup's unprecedented survey representing the opinions of more than 1 billion Muslims worldwide, including Muslims in the West. She also directs the Muslim-West Facts Initiative, through which Gallup, in collaboration with the Coexist Foundation, is disseminating the findings of the Gallup World Poll to key opinion leaders in the Muslim World and the West. She is a member of Women in International Security, serves on the leadership group of the Project on U.S. Engagement with the Global Muslim Community, and is a member of the Crisis in the Middle East Task Force of the Brookings Institution.
Dalia Mogahed: I think a lot of people have written extensively on what is called the “youth bulge,” where the majority of the Muslim world is below the age of adulthood. And at the same time, this huge youth bulge is not being sustained; or its energy is not being utilized in economic growth, or in job creation. So we have a huge youth bulge in the Muslim world, but not the jobs to support it. And I think that that problem is one that we have to address.
But from my data, our analysis – my team’s analysis – shows that those who sympathize with terrorism are not actually more likely to be unemployed. I don’t think that takes away from the need to address this issue. I’m just not sure that it’s at the heart of the terrorism problem.
Recorded: July 3, 2007
Mogahed on the so-called "youth bulge."
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