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Published On: Thu, May 2nd, 2013

Islam study reveals strong support for Sharia Law, a role for religion in politics and honor killings

A Pew Research Center study released Tuesday takes an in-depth look at Islam, including how Muslims around the world view extremism, sharia law and the meeting of religion and politics.

The study is a four-year effort by Pew, which conducted 38,000 face-to-face interview in 80-plus languages for the survey. In total, 39 countries and territories were included, all of which had over 10 million Muslims living there.

cover of a Quran  photo by crystalina  via wikimedia commons

cover of a Quran photo by crystalina via wikimedia commons

Arab News reported special adviser to Pew, Amaney Jamal, said: “Sharia has different meanings, definitions and understandings, based on the actual experiences of countries with or without sharia.”

A majority of Muslims in Asia, Africa and the Middle East favoured sharia law being adopted as the law of their countries, with the highest support recorded in Afghanistan at 99 percent.
 
“Religious commitment is closely linked to views about sharia,” the study says. “Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely to say sharia is the revealed word of God, to say that it has only one interpretation and to support the implementation of Islamic law in their country.”
 
The study says that 72 percent of Indonesian Muslims favor making Islamic law the official legal code in the country, compared to 86 percent in Malaysia and 77 percent in Thailand having the same opinion.
 
The survey found the global median for Muslims opposed to violence in the name of Islam was 72 percent.
 
A majority of Muslims surveyed in Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Middle East-North Africa told Pew that religious leaders in their respective countries should have political influence.

“Devout Muslims tend to be more supportive of religious leaders playing a role in politics,” the survey reads. “In a number of countries, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa but also in Southern and Eastern Europe, Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely than those who pray less frequently to say religious leaders should have at least some influence on political matters.”

Ninety-seven percent of Muslims in South Asia, 95% in Eastern Europe, 94% in sub-Saharan Africa and 85% in the Middle East and North Africa responded positively to religious freedom, according to the poll.

“Overall, Muslims broadly support the idea of religious freedom,” the study states. “Among Muslims who say people of different religions are very free to practice their faith, three-quarters or more in each country say this is a good thing.”

A strong majority surveyed said so-called honor killings could never be justified. The only exceptions came in Afghanistan and Iraq, where majorities condoned executions of women deemed to have shamed their families by engaging in premarital sex or adultery.

 
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  1. […] hundreds of millions of Muslim support these atrocities? That’s a key fact from the major international Pew Research study that came out half a year ago. The PDF of the full report is here, but here’s one eye-popping […]

  2. […] that hundreds of millions of Muslim support these atrocities? That’s a key fact from the major international Pew Research study that came out half a year ago. The PDF of the full report is here, but here’s one eye-popping […]

  3. [...] Tuesday saw the release of a major international Pew Research study into the opinions of Muslims on a variety of topics. The full report (PDF) is here, but let’s take a quick peek: [...]

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