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Democracy still ‘preferable’ in Muslim nations, survey says

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WASHINGTON — Democracy is still popular in six Muslim-majority countries, over a year after the Arab Spring, and the majority in some countries favors laws based on the Koran, according to a poll published Tuesday.

The first two Muslim-majority nations to overthrow a dictator still “desire” democracy, with some 67 percent of Egyptians and 63 percent of Tunisians saying “democracy is preferable,” according to the survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in recent months.

In the rest of the region, 84 percent of Lebanese and 71 percent of Turks say “democracy is preferable,” but Jordanians and Pakistanis are less enthusiastic, at 61 and 42 percent respectively.

Forty-five percent of Tunisians say the country has improved without ousted 23-year president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, and 42 percent disagree. Tunisians are still optimistic about the future of their country, with 75 percent saying the nation’s flailing economy will improve.

Aside from Lebanon, which boasts a large Christian minority, a majority of poll participants across the surveyed Muslim nations feel Islam does and should play a central role in government. Points of view differ across the countries regarding the degree to which Islam should affect policy.

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In Pakistan, 82 percent of participants feel “laws should strictly follow the teachings of the Koran.” In the rest of the Muslim world, only 72 percent of Jordanians, 60 percent of Egyptians, 23 percent of Tunisians and 17 percent of Turks and Lebanese agreed.

A majority of poll participants believe women should have the same rights as men. Lebanese led the pack with 93 percent believing in gender equality. Only 74 percent of Tunisians and 58 percent of Egyptians support equal rights for women. Some 67 percent of Tunisian women say that equal gender rights are very important, whereas only 50 percent of men agree.

The overwhelming majority of most poll participants opposed extremists, even if Al-Qaeda is seen as favorable by 19 percent of Egyptians, 16 percent of Tunisians and 13 percent of Pakistanis.

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The polls were conducted in March and April, with a sample of 1,000 participants per country and a margin of error ranging from more or less than 3.9 to 5.2 points across the different countries.


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CBS cuts off ugly interview with Liz Cheney after she attacks host for asking about Trump’s racism

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Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) accused CBS host Margaret Brennan of unfairly bringing race into a discussion after President Donald Trump told four non-white Democratic congresswomen to "go back" to where they came from.

In an interview on Face the Nation, Brennan asked Cheney if it was appropriate for Trump supporters to chant "send her back" at a rally in North Carolina last week.

"The news media wants to make this about race -- you just did it," Cheney told Brennan. "It’s not about race, gender, religion... As Republicans we will fight against those even if the mainstream media accuses us of racism when we do this."

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CNN’s Santorum gets his butt handed to him by fellow conservative over defense of Trump’s ‘disgusting’ racism

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CNN contributor Rick Santorum ran into some fierce resistance on Sunday morning when he attempted to defend the explicit racism in Donald Trump's tweets at Democratic lawmakers -- with the only other conservative on the panel blowing up on him.

Speaking with fill-in host Dana Bash, the former GOP Senator from Pennsylvania was right away on the defensive when asked about the president's tweets and the resulting "send her back" chant at a rally in North Carolina.

"He says things to bring attention to these issues and I know it's hair on fire time for everyone on the left," Santorum offered in Trump's defense, which brought a sharp comeback from fellow conservative CNN commentator S.E. Cupp.

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White House flack: Trump made it clear he ‘disagrees with’ and ‘stands with’ people who chanted ‘send her back’

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White House spokesperson Mercedes Schlapp on Sunday insisted that President Donald Trump "stands with" people who chanted a racist slogan at his rally last week -- although she also claimed that he disagrees with the chant itself.

In an interview on ABC's This Week, host George Stephanopoulos asked Schlapp why Trump let the racist "send her back" chant go on for 13 seconds after he attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

"He is not a racist," Schlapp said of the president. "He's a compassionate man whose policies have focused on the minority community."

"You also saw him in that room in North Carolina -- 13 seconds as the crowd chanted 'send her back,'" Stephanopoulos pointed out. "It seems like you're at odds with the president, you had a different reaction to that chant."

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