Fatalistic explanation of natural hazards are predominant may be a major obstacle to risk prevention in some Muslim countries


The attitude of fatalism, or the perception that we are powerless to protect ourselves from the hazard or even avoid it, is related to religious beliefs. Although it can be found across a number of Western countries, such as Germany or the United States, these beliefs are not prevalent (Plapp & Werner, 2006; Rozario, 2007). On the other hand, fatalistic explanations of natural hazards, especially earthquakes, are predominant in some Muslim communities, regardless of gender, age, level of education, socioeconomic status, etc., as shown in the study of Paradise (2005) conducted in Morocco. Based on the findings of several previous studies (Keller & Pinter, 2002; Mills et al., 2001, cited in Paradise, 2005) fatalistic attitude seems to be the major obstacle to risk prevention in some Muslim communities. It has been shown that these people tend to ignore indicators of earthquakes, do not adapt or build structures according to the specific building standards in high-risk seismic zones, and they also neglect community education and risk prevention programs.

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