By John Lee.
A new report from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change claims that Western perceptions of the Arab world are too often shaped by negative stereotypes and anecdotal evidence used to justify prejudicial views - rather than by reality.
As a result, it says, our understanding of who Arabs are, and what values and aspirations they have, too often misses the mark.
Among the Iraq-related statistics cited in the report:
- 68 percent of Iraqis do not want to rely on religious or international organisations to be responsible for providing services;
- 77 percent of Iraqis agreeing that their country's religious education and practices require reform;
- 67 percent of Iraqis consider themselves only moderately religious or not religious at all;
- 78 percent of Iraqis support young people learning technological skills;
- 64 percent of Iraqis have a favourable view of the US;
- 76 percent of Iraqis have a favourable view of the UK;
- 46 per cent of Iraqi respondents agreeing with this statement that their best days are ahead of them, as opposed to only 20 per cent in 2020;
- the percentage of Iraqi people who felt that boys' university education should be prioritised fell from 46 per cent in 2004 to 22 per cent in 2018;
- In Iraq's elections last year, women surpassed the gender quota, making up almost 30 percent of parliamentarians (they won 97 of 329 seats in the Council of Representatives of Iraq);
(Source: Tony Blair Institute for Global Change)