Arab youth disapprove of Trump, see him as anti-Muslim - poll

U.S. President Donald Trump presents the U.S. Air Force Academy football team with the Commander-in-Chief trophy in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 2, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

DUBAI (Reuters) - A majority of young Arabs see Donald Trump’s election as the factor most influencing their region in the next five years, a survey published on Wednesday showed, and they expressed concern that the U.S. president was anti-Muslim.

Trump signed an executive order in March banning citizens from six Muslim-majority nations from travelling to the United States, citing security reasons, but the action was blocked by a court.

The annual survey by Dubai-based public relations firm ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller of people aged between 18-24 across 16 Arab countries showed 64 percent of respondents viewed the Trump presidency with “concern, anger or fear”.

Eighty-three percent viewed Trump unfavourably, far up from the 52 percent recorded by his predecessor Barack Obama and even exceeding the 77 percent disapproval rating for George W. Bush, whose invasion of Iraq made him especially unpopular in the Arab world.

Around 70 percent of respondents said Trump was anti-Muslim. Half said his proposed travel ban would make it easier for militant groups to recruit young Muslims.

Respondents listed oil prices as the factor next most likely to impact the region in the next five years, followed by the Islamic State group, which was seen as the biggest challenge in the region in last year’s poll.

The survey was based on 3,500 face-to-face interviews carried out in countries ranging from Morocco and Egypt to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Reporting By Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Mark Trevelyan