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Overwhelming percentages of Muslims in many countries want Islamic law (sharia) to be the official police of the land, co-ordinate to a worldwide survey past the Pew Enquiry Eye. Only many supporters of sharia say information technology should apply simply to their state’s Muslim population.

Moreover, Muslims are non every bit comfy with all aspects of sharia: While virtually favor using religious law in family unit and property disputes, fewer support the application of severe punishments – such as whippings or cutting off hands – in criminal cases. The survey also shows that Muslims differ widely in how they interpret certain aspects of sharia, including whether divorce and family unit planning are morally acceptable.

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The survey involved a total of more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in 80-plus languages. Information technology covered Muslims in 39 countries, which are divided into six regions in this report – Southern and Eastern Europe (Russian federation and the Balkans), Central Asia, Southeast Asia, South asia, the Eye Due east and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Regional Differences

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Attitudes toward Islamic police force vary significantly by region. Support for making sharia the law of the land is highest in Southward Asia (median of 84%). Medians of at to the lowest degree 6-in-10 Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa (64%), the Centre Due east-North Africa region (74%) and Southeast Asia (77%) also favor enshrining sharia equally official law. But in ii regions, far fewer Muslims say Islamic police force should be endorsed by their governments: Southern and Eastern Europe (eighteen%) and Key Asia (12%).

Within regions, support for enshrining sharia as official police is particularly loftier in some countries with predominantly Muslim populations, such as Transitional islamic state of afghanistan and Iraq.ane
But back up for sharia is not express to countries where Muslims make up a majority of the population. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, Muslims plant less than a fifth of the population in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the congo, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique and Uganda; yet in each of these countries, at least half of Muslims (52%-74%) say they desire sharia to be the official law of the land.

Conversely, in some countries where Muslims make up more than than 90% of the population, relatively few want their government to codify Islamic law; this is the case in Tajikistan (27%), Turkey (12%) and Azerbaijan (eight%).

Singled-out legal and political cultures may help to explain the differing levels of back up for sharia. Many of the countries surveyed in Fundamental Asia and Southern and Eastern Europe share a history of separating religion and the state. The policies of modern Turkey’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, for example, emphasized the creation of a secular authorities; other countries in these two regions experienced decades of secularization under communist rule. By contrast, governments in many of the countries surveyed in South Asia and the Middle East-Northward Africa region have officially embraced Islam.

Sharia

Sharia, or Islamic law, offers moral and legal guidance for well-nigh all aspects of life – from marriage and divorce, to inheritance and contracts, to criminal punishments. Sharia, in its broadest definition, refers to the ethical principles prepare downwardly in Islam’due south holy volume (the Quran) and examples of deportment past the Prophet Muhammad (sunna). The Islamic jurisprudence that comes out of the human exercise of codifying and interpreting these principles is known equally fiqh. Muslim scholars and jurists continue to debate the boundary between sharia and fiqh as well equally other aspects of Islamic law.

Existing Legal Frameworks

Indeed, the survey finds that support for making sharia the police force of the country is often higher in countries where the constitution or basic laws already favor Islam over other religions.2
Majorities in such countries say sharia should exist enshrined equally official constabulary, including at least nine-in-ten Muslims in Afghanistan (99%) and Iraq (91%). By comparison, in countries where Islam is not legally favored, roughly a third or fewer Muslims say sharia should be the police of the state. Back up is especially low in Kazakhstan (x%) and Republic of azerbaijan (8%).3

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The survey also finds that views nigh instituting sharia in the domestic-civil sphere frequently mirror a country’due south existing legal system. Asked whether religious judges should decide family and property disputes, at least half of Muslims living in countries that have religious family courts answer yes.4
By dissimilarity, in countries where secular courts oversee family unit matters, fewer than half of Muslims think that family unit and property disputes should exist within the purview of religious judges.

When comparing Muslim attitudes toward sharia as official law and its specific application in the domestic sphere, three countries are particularly instructive: Lebanese republic, Tunisia and Turkey.

In Lebanon, Islam is non the favored religion of the state, but the major Muslim sects in the state operate their own courts overseeing family law.5
Attitudes of Lebanese Muslims announced to mirror this political and legal structure: While roughly three-in-ten (29%) say sharia should be the official law of the state, about half (53%) say religious judges should have the ability to decide family and property disputes.

Tunisia’s legal framework is, in key respects, the opposite of Lebanese republic’s: The Tunisian Constitution favors Islam over other religions, but religious courts, which once governed family police, were abolished in 1956.6
Peradventure reflecting this history, more than than half of Tunisian Muslims (56%) want sharia to be the official law of the land, merely a minority (42%) says religious courts should oversee family unit and property police.

Turkey’s evolution in the early 20th century included sweeping legal reforms resulting in a secular constitution and legal framework. As part of these changes, traditional sharia courts were eliminated in the 1920s.7
Today, only minorities of Turkish Muslims dorsum enshrining sharia as official law (12%) or letting religious judges decide family and belongings disputes (14%).

Religious Commitment and Support for Sharia

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The survey finds that religious devotion also shapes attitudes toward sharia.8
In many countries, Muslims with higher levels of religious commitment are more likely to support sharia. In Russia, for example, Muslims who say they pray several times a twenty-four hour period are 37 percentage points more likely to support making sharia official law than Muslims who say they pray less frequently. Similarly, in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and Tunisia, Muslims who say they pray several times a day are at least 25 per centum points more supportive of enshrining sharia as official law than are less observant Muslims.

Age, Gender, Instruction and Support for Sharia

Across the countries surveyed, support for making sharia the official law of the state more often than not varies petty by age, gender or instruction. In the few countries where support for Islamic law varies significantly by age, older Muslims tend to favor enshrining sharia as the law of the land more than younger Muslims exercise. This is particularly truthful in the Middle Eastward-North Africa region, where Muslims ages 35 and older are more than likely than those 18-34 to back sharia in Lebanon (+22 pct points), Jordan (+12), Tunisia (+12) and the Palestinian territories (+10).

In simply ii countries are men significantly more likely than women to favor enshrining sharia as official police force: Pakistan (+xvi percentage points) and Russia (+9). In most countries, Muslims with a secondary caste or higher (i.due east., graduates of a high school, technical found or college) are about equally likely as those with less pedagogy to support Islamic constabulary.

Muslims Who Favor Making Sharia Official Law

When Muslims around the earth say they want sharia to be the constabulary of the country, what function do they envision for religious law in their country? Showtime, many, simply by no ways all, supporters of sharia believe the law of Islam should utilise only to Muslims. In addition, those who favor Islamic constabulary tend to be nigh comfortable with its application to questions of family and property.9
In some regions, fewer dorsum the imposition of severe punishments in criminal cases, such equally cut off the hands of thieves – an expanse of sharia known in Arabic as hudud (come across Glossary). But in South asia and the Middle Due east and North Africa, medians of more than half back both severe criminal punishments and the expiry penalty for Muslims who renounce their faith.

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Muslims who favor making sharia the law of the land generally hold that the requirements of Islam should apply simply to Muslims. Across the regions where the question was asked, medians of at least 51% say sharia should use exclusively to adherents of the Muslim faith. This view is prevalent even in regions such equally S Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle Eastward and North Africa, where there is overwhelming support for enshrining sharia as the official constabulary of the land. (See chart in Should Sharia Apply to All Citizens? in Chapter 1: Behavior Almost Sharia.)

At the state level, in that location are notable exceptions to the view that sharia should employ only to Muslims. These include Arab republic of egypt, where 74% of Muslims say sharia should be the constabulary of the land and well-nigh three-quarters of them (or 55% of
all
Egyptian Muslims) say Islamic law should apply to people of all faiths.

Sharia supporters around the world widely agree that Muslim leaders and religious judges should determine family and property disputes. The median percentage of sharia supporters who favor applying religious constabulary in the domestic sphere is highest in Southeast Asia (84%), followed by Southward Asia (78%), the Middle Eastward and Due north Africa (78%), and Fundamental Asia (62%). In Southern and Eastern Europe, fewer (41%) think religious judges should oversee family and property bug. (Come across nautical chart in How Should Sharia Exist Practical? in Affiliate ane: Beliefs About Sharia.)

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In South Asia, support for applying religious law to family and belongings disputes is coupled with strong backing for severe criminal punishments, such as cutting off the hands of thieves (median of 81%) and the death penalization for Muslims who renounce their faith (76%). In the Centre East-North Africa region, medians of more than one-half favor strict criminal penalties (57%) and the execution of those who convert from Islam to another faith (56%).

By contrast, fewer Muslims back astringent criminal punishments in Southeast Asia (median of 46%), Central Asia (38%), and Southern and Eastern Europe (36%). Even smaller medians in these same regions (between xiii% and 27%) say apostates should face the capital punishment for leaving Islam to join another religion. (For more details on views toward apostasy, see How Should Sharia Exist Applied? in Chapter 1: Beliefs About Sharia.)

What is a Median?

The median is the middle number in a list of numbers sorted from highest to lowest. On many questions in this report, medians are reported for groups of countries to help readers see regional patterns.

For a region with an odd number of countries, the median on a particular question is the center spot among the countries surveyed in that region. For regions with an even number of countries, the median is computed every bit the average of the 2 countries at the centre of the list (e.g., where six nations are shown, the median is the average of the third and fourth countries listed in the region).

Faith and Morality

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Regardless of whether they support making sharia the official law of the land, Muslims effectually the world overwhelmingly agree that in social club for a person to exist moral, he or she must believe in God. Muslims beyond all the regions surveyed also more often than not agree that certain behaviors – such as suicide, homosexuality and consuming alcohol – are morally unacceptable. Nonetheless, Muslims are less unified when it comes to the morality of divorce, birth control and polygamy. Even Muslims who want to enshrine sharia every bit the official police of the land do not always line up on the same side of these problems.

The survey asked Muslims if information technology is necessary to believe in God to exist moral and have good values. For the bulk of Muslims, the respond is a clear yes. Median percentages of roughly seven-in-ten or more in Central Asia (69%), sub-Saharan Africa (70%), South asia (87%), the Middle East-North Africa region (91%) and Southeast Asia (94%) agree that morality begins with organized religion in God. In Southern and Eastern Europe, where secular traditions tend to exist strongest, a median of 61% agree that being moral and having good values depend on belief in God.10
In merely two of the 38 countries where the question was asked – Albania (45%) and Kazakhstan (41%) – exercise fewer than half of Muslims link morality to faith in God. (The question was non asked in Afghanistan.)

Muslims around the world also share similar views nigh the immorality of some behaviors. For instance, across the six regions surveyed, median percentages of roughly eight-in-10 or more consistently say prostitution, homosexuality and suicide are morally wrong. Medians of at to the lowest degree 60% also condemn sex outside matrimony, drinking alcohol, ballgame and euthanasia.

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Moral attitudes are less compatible when it comes to questions of polygamy, divorce and family planning. In the example of polygamy, only in Southern and Eastern Europe (median of 68%) and Central Asia (62%) do most say that the practice of taking multiple wives is morally unacceptable. In the other regions surveyed, attitudes toward polygamy vary widely from country to country. For example, in the Middle Eastward-North Africa region, the percent of Muslims who think polygamy is morally unacceptable ranges from 6% in Jordan to 67% in Tunisia. Similarly, in sub-Saharan Africa, equally few equally 5% of Muslims in Niger say plural marriage is morally wrong, compared with 59% who hold this view in Mozambique.

In sub-Saharan Africa, a median of 51% explicitly describe divorce equally morally wrong. In other regions, fewer share this view, although opinions vary substantially at the state level. Many Muslims say that divorce is either non a moral event or that the morality of ending a wedlock depends on the situation. In the Middle East and Northward Africa, for case, more than than a quarter of Muslims in v of the 6 countries where the question was asked say either that divorce is non a moral issue or that it depends on the context.

Muslims also are divided when it comes to the morality of nascence control. In near countries where the question was asked, at that place was neither a clear majority saying family planning is morally acceptable nor a clear majority saying it is morally wrong. Rather, many Muslims around the earth say that a married couple’s decision to limit pregnancies either is not a moral issue or depends on the situation; this includes medians of at least a quarter in Primal Asia (27%), Southern and Eastern Europe (30%) and the Middle East-Due north Africa region (41%).

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In addition, the survey finds that sharia supporters in different countries do non necessarily have the same views on the morality of divorce and family unit planning. For example, in Bangladesh and Lebanon, supporters of sharia are at least 11 per centum points more than likely than other Muslims to say divorce is morally adequate. But in Albania, Kazakhstan, Russian federation, Kosovo and Kyrgyzstan, those who want sharia to be official constabulary are less likely than other Muslims to narrate divorce as morally acceptable. Sharia supporters in dissimilar countries also diverge in their attitudes toward family unit planning. In Bangladesh, Jordan and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Muslims who desire to enshrine sharia as the law of land are more likely to say family unit planning is moral, while in Kazakhstan, Russia, Lebanese republic and Kyrgyzstan, supporters of sharia are less likely to say limiting pregnancies is morally acceptable. (For more than details on views toward polygamy, divorce and family planning, see Morality and Marriage in Chapter 3: Morality.)

Women’s Rights

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Muslims’ attitudes toward women’s rights are mixed. In most parts of the world, Muslims say that a woman should be able to decide whether to wear a veil. Yet when it comes to private life, most Muslims say a wife should always obey her husband. There is considerable disagreement over whether a wife should be able to initiate a divorce and whether a daughter should be able to receive an inheritance equal to a son’s.

Across five of the six major regions included in the report, majorities of Muslims in near countries say a woman should be able to decide for herself whether to wear a veil in public. Medians of roughly seven-in-x or more take this view in Southern and Eastern Europe (88%), Southeast Asia (79%) and Central Asia (73%). Simply fewer say women should have this correct in South asia (56%) and the Middle East-Northward Africa region (53%). Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region where a median of less than one-half (twoscore%) call back a woman should exist able to decide for herself whether to wear a veil. (For more details on views toward veiling, see Women and Veiling in Chapter iv: Women In Society.)

Although many Muslims endorse a woman’due south right to choose how she appears in public, overwhelming majorities in virtually regions say a wife should always obey her husband. Medians of more than viii-in-ten Muslims express this view in Southeast Asia (93%), South Asia (88%), and the Heart E and North Africa (87%). Even in Fundamental Asia, a region characterized by relatively low levels of religious observance and stiff support for a adult female’s right to decide whether to clothing a veil, 7-in-x Muslims agree that a wife should acquit out her husband’s wishes.11
Just in Southern and Eastern Europe do fewer than half (median of 43%) share this view.

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Views on a women’s rights to divorce and inheritance vary considerably beyond the regions surveyed. Muslims in Southern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia clearly back up a married woman’s right to initiate a divorce (regional medians of 86% and 70%, respectively). However, fewer in the other regions call up this should exist a woman’s prerogative. Similarly, medians of six-in-ten or more in iii regions – Southern and Eastern Europe (69%), Southeast Asia (61%) and Key Asia (threescore%) – think daughters and sons should have equal inheritance rights. But far fewer concur in South Asia (46%) and the Centre East-Due north Africa region (25%).

As in the case of support for religious courts and making sharia official law, attitudes toward equal inheritance announced to reflect, at least in office, a society’s legal and social norms. For example, at least three-quarters of Muslims say children should be able to inherit equally, regardless of gender, in Turkey (88%), Bosnia-Herzegovina (79%) and Kosovo (76%) – all countries where laws do not require that sons should receive greater inheritance than daughters. By dissimilarity, in Jordan (25%), Iraq (22%), Morocco (15%) and Tunisia (15%) – countries where laws specify unequal inheritance based on gender – a quarter or fewer say daughters and sons should have equal rights to their family’south wealth. (Run across Inheritance Rights for Women in Affiliate iv: Women In Society.)

Differences in Views past Gender

Overall, the survey finds that Muslim women are often, but not e’er, more supportive of women’s rights.12
For instance, in nigh one-half of the 39 countries surveyed, women are more probable than men to say that a woman should make up one’s mind for herself whether to wear a veil in public. Yet in the remaining countries, women are just equally likely as men to say that the question of veiling should not exist left to individual women. When information technology comes to divorce and equal inheritance, there are fifty-fifty fewer countries where Muslim women are significantly more than supportive of women’s rights than are Muslim men.

Extremism Widely Rejected

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Muslims effectually the earth strongly decline violence in the name of Islam. Asked specifically nearly suicide bombing, articulate majorities in virtually countries say such acts are rarely or never justified as a means of defending Islam from its enemies.

In most countries where the question was asked, roughly three-quarters or more Muslims pass up suicide bombing and other forms of violence confronting civilians. And in most countries, the prevailing view is that such acts are
never
justified as a means of defending Islam from its enemies. Yet there are some countries in which substantial minorities retrieve violence against civilians is at to the lowest degree sometimes justified. This view is particularly widespread amongst Muslims in the Palestinian territories (40%), Afghanistan (39%), Egypt (29%) and Bangladesh (26%).

The survey finds little testify that attitudes toward violence in the name of Islam are linked to factors such as age, gender or teaching. Similarly, the survey finds no consistent link betwixt back up for enshrining sharia every bit official constabulary and attitudes toward religiously motivated violence. In only 3 of the 15 countries with sufficient samples sizes for analysis – Arab republic of egypt, Kosovo and Tunisia – are sharia supporters significantly more than probable to say suicide bombing and other forms of violence are at to the lowest degree sometimes justified. In Bangladesh, sharia supporters are significantly less likely to hold this view.

In a majority of countries surveyed, at least one-half of Muslims say they are somewhat or very concerned virtually religious extremism. And on balance, more Muslims are concerned about Islamic than Christian extremist groups. In all but one of the 36 countries where the question was asked, no more than than one-in-five Muslims express worries most Christian extremism, compared with 28 countries where at to the lowest degree that many say they are concerned about Islamic extremist groups. This includes six countries in which 40% or more than of Muslims worry about Islamic extremism: Guinea Bissau (54%), Indonesia (53%), Kazakhstan (46%), Iraq (45%), Ghana (45%) and Pakistan (40%). (For more details on views toward extremism, encounter Business organisation About Religious Extremism in Chapter two: Religion and Politics.)

Few See Tensions Over Religious Differences

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Although many Muslims are concerned about Islamic extremist groups, relatively few retrieve tensions between more and less observant Muslims pose a major problem for their country. Similarly, virtually do non see Sunni-Shia hostilities as a major problem. And when asked specifically about relations between Muslims and Christians, majorities in most countries see piffling hostility between members of the two faiths.

Muslims in Southern and Eastern Europe and those in Central Asia are non as likely equally those in other regions to describe tensions between more religious and less religious Muslims as a very big problem in their country (regional medians of ten% and 6%, respectively). Slightly more than Muslims in South Asia (21%) and Southeast Asia (18%) run across intra-faith differences equally a major problem. In the Middle Due east and Due north Africa, a median of one-in-iv say tensions between more and less devout Muslims is a pressing issue in their state.

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Across the seven countries where the question was asked, fewer than four-in-10 Muslims consider tensions betwixt Sunnis and Shias to be a major national problem. Nonetheless, levels of concern vary considerably. At i end of the spectrum, barely whatever Muslims in Azerbaijan (1%) say Sunni-Shia tensions are a pressing effect in their country. Past dissimilarity, in Lebanon (38%), Islamic republic of pakistan (34%) and Iraq (23%) – 3 countries that take experienced sectarian violence – virtually a quarter or more view Sunni-Shia tensions equally a very big problem. (For more than details on Sunni-Shia tensions, see Concern About Sunni-Shia Conflict in Chapter five: Relations Among Muslims.)

Compared with problems such equally unemployment and law-breaking, which majorities oft draw as pressing issues in their land, relatively few Muslims place religious conflict among their nation’s tiptop bug. Regional medians of one-in-five or fewer characterize such disharmonize as a major issue in Southern and Eastern Europe (20%) and Cardinal Asia (12%). Somewhat larger medians describe religious tensions as a pressing problem in South asia (35%), sub-Saharan Africa (34%) and Southeast Asia (27%). Only in the Middle E-North Africa region does a median of 50% say religiously based disharmonize is a major problem facing their country.

The survey asked in item nigh relations betwixt Muslims and Christians. In almost all countries, fewer than half of Muslims say that many or most members of either religious grouping are hostile toward the other group. In five countries, even so, more than three-in-ten Muslims describe many or most Christians as combative toward Muslims: Egypt (50%), Guinea Bissau (41%), the Congo-kinshasa (37%), Chad (34%) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (31%). And in three countries like percentages say many or most Muslims are hostile toward Christians: Republic of guinea Bissau (49%), Republic of chad (38%) and Arab republic of egypt (35%). (For more details on Muslim-Christian tensions, meet Views of Muslim-Christian Hostilities in Chapter half-dozen: Interfaith Relations.)

Republic and Religious Freedom

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Most Muslims around the world express support for democracy, and most say information technology is a good matter when others are very free to exercise their religion. At the same fourth dimension, many Muslims want religious leaders to have at to the lowest degree some influence in political matters.

Given a option between a leader with a strong hand or a autonomous arrangement of authorities, almost Muslims choose commonwealth. Regional medians of roughly half-dozen-in-10 or more support commonwealth in sub-Saharan Africa (72%), Southeast Asia (64%) and Southern and Eastern Europe (58%), while slightly fewer agree in the Eye East and North Africa (55%) and Central Asia (52%). Muslims in Southern asia are the well-nigh skeptical of democratic government (a median of 45% say they support democracy).

A majority of Muslims in nigh countries surveyed say they are “very gratis” to practice their religion. The but countries where fewer than one-half of Muslims say they are very free to practice their religion are Republic of iraq (48%), Arab republic of egypt (46%) and Uzbekistan (39%).

The survey also asked Muslims whether people of other faiths in their country are very free, somewhat free, not too free or not at all free to practice their religion; a follow-up question asked Muslims whether they consider this “a good thing” or “a bad affair.” In 31 of the 38 countries where the question was asked, majorities of Muslims say people of other faiths can practice their organized religion very freely. (The question was not asked in Afghanistan.) And of those who share this assessment, overwhelming majorities consider it a good thing. This includes median percentages of more than nine-in-ten in Southern asia (97%), Southern and Eastern Europe (95%), sub-Saharan Africa (94%), Southeast Asia (93%) and Primal Asia (92%). In the Eye East-N Africa region, virtually every bit many (85%) share this view.

There are a few countries where ten% or more than of Muslims say not-Muslims are either “not as well free” or “not at all gratuitous” to practice their faith. These include Egypt (18%), Turkey (fourteen%), Iraq (thirteen%), Djibouti (11%), Tajikistan (11%) and the Palestinian territories (ten%). Very few Muslims in these countries phone call this lack of religious freedom “a practiced thing.” Arab republic of egypt is the but state in which more than one-tenth (12%) of the full Muslim population says it is a good thing that non-Muslims are not free to practice their faith.

Islam and Politics

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While Muslims widely cover democracy and religious freedom, many also desire religion to play a prominent role in politics. Medians of at least six-in-ten in Southeast Asia (79%), Southern asia (69%), and the Middle Eastward and North Africa (65%) say religious leaders should take at least some influence over political matters. This includes medians of at to the lowest degree a quarter beyond these 3 regions who would like to see religious leaders exert a
big
influence on politics. Muslims in the other 2 regions where the question was asked are less comfy with the merger of politics and organized religion. Fewer than three-in-x Muslims in Cardinal Asia (28%) and Southern and Eastern Europe (22%) say religious leaders should wield influence in political matters. And amid these, less than 1-in-x think religion should have a large influence.

Devout Muslims tend to be more than supportive of religious leaders playing a role in politics. In a number of countries, especially in the Middle East and North Africa but also in Southern and Eastern Europe, Muslims who pray several times a day are more than likely than those who pray less frequently to say religious leaders should accept at to the lowest degree some influence on political matters. At a country level, this gap is peculiarly broad in Lebanon, where Muslims who pray several times a twenty-four hour period are virtually iv times more likely than other Muslims (51% vs. 13%) to say religious leaders should play a function in politics.

Islam and Contemporary Club

Most Muslims are comfortable practicing their faith in the contemporary world. Relatively few feel there is an inherent conflict between being religiously devout and living in a mod order, and the prevailing view in most countries surveyed is that in that location is no inherent conflict betwixt religion and science. Withal, nearly Muslims remember Western music, movies and television pose a threat to morality in their state – even though, on a personal level, substantial percentages say they enjoy Western amusement.

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Across the vi major regions included in the study, most Muslims pass up the notion that at that place is an inherent tension between modernistic society and leading a religiously devout life. This view prevails in regions characterized by low levels of religious observance – Central Asia (median of 71%) and Southern and Eastern Europe (58%) – as well as in regions where most Muslims are highly observant – Southeast Asia (64%) and the Middle E and North Africa (60%).13
Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa are more divided on the compatibility of faith and modern life (median of 50%). Muslims in Southern asia, meanwhile, are less probable to say modernistic life and religious devotion are compatible (median of 39%). (For more than details, see Faith and Modernity in Affiliate 7: Faith, Science and Popular Civilisation.)

Beyond the 23 countries where the question was asked, most Muslims see no inherent disharmonize between religion and science. This view is especially widespread in the Middle Eastward and North Africa (median of 75%) fifty-fifty though, as previously noted, many Muslims in the region are highly committed to their organized religion. Across the other regions surveyed, medians of 50% or more than concur that religion and science are compatible. The one exception is South asia, where fewer than half (45%) share this view.

Asked specifically virtually the origins of humans and other living things, Muslims in Key Asia, Southern and Eastern Europe, and the Middle E-North Africa region concord with the theory of evolution (regional medians from 54% to 58%). Fewer Muslims accept development in Southeast Asia (39%) and South Asia (xxx%). (For more details on views toward evolution, see Development in Affiliate 7: Organized religion, Science and Pop Culture.)

Western Pop Civilization

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Western music, movies and television accept become a fixture of contemporary society in many parts of the globe. The survey finds that, at a personal level, many Muslims savour Western popular culture. This is especially true in Southern and Eastern Europe (66%), Primal Asia (52%) and sub-Saharan Africa (51%), where medians of at to the lowest degree 50% say they similar Western amusement. Fewer in Southeast Asia (41%) and the Middle East and North Africa (38%) share this view. Favorable opinions of Western music, movies and television are fifty-fifty rarer in South Asia (25%).

Even though many Muslims savor Western pop culture, a clear bulk of Muslims in most countries surveyed remember that Western amusement harms morality in their country. And it is not simply Muslims who personally dislike Western music, movies and television who feel this way. In four of the half dozen regions, medians of at least half of those who say they savour this blazon of entertainment also say Western cultural imports undermine morality: sub-Saharan Africa (65%), South asia (59%), Southeast Asia (51%) and the Middle Eastward-North Africa region (51%). (For more details, including Muslims’ views toward Bollywood, see Popular Culture in Affiliate 7: Religion, Science and Pop Civilisation.)

How Do American Muslims Compare?

In 2011, the Pew Inquiry Center conducted its second nationally representative survey of Muslims in the United States. When that survey is compared with the global survey of Muslims, some key differences emerge between U.S. Muslims and Muslims in other countries. In general, American Muslims are more at ease in the contemporary world. About six-in-x Muslims living in the U.S. (63%) say at that place is no tension betwixt being religiously devout and living in a modernistic society, compared with a median of 54% of Muslims worldwide. American Muslims also are more than likely than Muslims in other parts of the globe to say that many religions tin can lead to eternal salvation (56% vs. global median of 18%). Additionally, U.S. Muslims are much less likely than Muslims worldwide to say that all or near of their close friends are Muslim (48% vs. global median of 95%).

Muslims in the U.S. are most as likely as Muslims in other countries to view science and religion as fully compatible. In the U.S., 59% of Muslims say there generally is not a conflict betwixt science and religion, compared with a median of 54% globally among Muslims. All the same, American Muslims are somewhat less likely to believe in evolution than are Muslims in other parts of the world (45% vs. global median of 53%). Indeed, when it comes to evolution, U.S. Muslims are closer to U.South. Christians (46% of whom say they believe in evolution) than they are to fellow Muslims elsewhere in the world.

American Muslims are fifty-fifty more probable than Muslims in other countries to firmly reject violence in the proper noun of Islam. In the U.Due south., almost eight-in-ten Muslims (81%) say that suicide bombing and similar acts targeting civilians are
never
justified. Across the world, a median of roughly seven-in-ten Muslims (72%) agrees. (For more than details on how U.S. Muslims compare with Muslims worldwide, see Appendix A: U.South. Muslims — Views on Organized religion and Society in a Global Context.)

Near the Report

These and other findings are discussed in more detail in the balance of this report, which is divided into seven capacity:

  • Beliefs About Sharia
  • Organized religion and Politics
  • Morality
  • Women in Society
  • Relations Amid Muslims
  • Interfaith Relations
  • Faith, Science and Popular Civilisation

This written report besides includes an appendix with comparable results from by Pew Research Middle surveys of Muslims in the Usa. A glossary of key terms can be institute hither. The survey questionnaire and a topline with total results are available equally a PDF. The online version of the written report also includes an infographic. This report covers attitudes and views on a diversity of social and political questions. A previous Pew Research report, released in Baronial 2012, addressed religious affiliation, beliefs and practices among Muslims.

This report includes data on every nation with a Muslim population of more than 10 million except Algeria, China, Republic of india, Iran, Kingdom of saudi arabia, Sudan, Syria and Republic of yemen. Together, the 39 countries and territories included in the survey are domicile to about two-thirds of all Muslims in the world.

The surveys that are the basis for this written report were conducted across multiple years. Fifteen sub-Saharan countries with substantial Muslim populations were surveyed in 2008-2009 equally office of a larger project that examined religion in that region. The methods employed in those countries – as well every bit some of the findings – are detailed in the Pew Research Center’s 2010 study “Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa.” An additional 24 countries and territories were surveyed in 2011-2012. In 21 of these countries, Muslims make upwardly a majority of the population. In these cases, nationally representative samples of at least one,000 respondents were fielded. The number of self-identified Muslims interviewed in these countries ranged from 551 in Lebanon to ane,918 in Bangladesh. In Russia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, where Muslims are a minority, oversamples were employed to ensure adequate representation of Muslims; in both cases, at to the lowest degree 1,000 Muslims were interviewed. Meanwhile, in Thailand, the survey was limited to the country’southward five southern provinces, each with substantial Muslim populations; more ane,000 interviews with Muslims were conducted across these provinces. Appendix C provides greater detail on the 2011-2012 survey’southward methodology.

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Footnotes:

i The populations of both Afghanistan and Iraq are at to the lowest degree 99% Muslim. Estimates for the religious composition of countries in this report are from the Pew Research Middle’s Dec 2012 report “The Global Religious Landscape.” (return to text)

2 The designation “officially favored religion” is based on the Pew Enquiry Middle’south September 2012 report “Ascent Tide of Restrictions on Faith.” See 2010 data for question in Government Restrictions Index on whether a country’south constitution or basic police recognizes a favored religion (GRI.Q.twenty.ane). For analysis of support for sharia amid Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa, run across the Pew Research Heart’s April 2010 study “Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa.”(return to text)

three Whether a country’s legal system shapes, or is shaped by, public stance is beyond the telescopic of this written report. This report is not asserting a causal relationship in either direction. (render to text)

iv Information on countries that take religious family courts is from Stahnke, Tad and Robert C. Blitt. 2005. “The Religion-Land Relationship and the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Comparative Textual Assay of the Constitutions of Predominantly Muslim Countries.” Georgetown Periodical of International Police force, volume 36, issue four; Emory Law Schoolhouse’southward Islamic Family Law project; and University of Richmond’s Constitution Finder. (render to text)

5 See National Reconciliation Lease of Lebanon. 1989. Articles 1b and1j; and Abiad, Nisrine. 2008. “Sharia, Muslim States and International Homo Rights Treaty Obligations: A Comparative Report.” British Institute of International and Comparative Law, page 56. (return to text)

half-dozen Meet Constitution of Tunisia. 1959. Article 1; and Abiad, Nisrine. 2008. “Sharia, Muslim States and International Man Rights Treaty Obligations: A Comparative Study.” British Found of International and Comparative Police force, page 146. (render to text)

7 See Turkish Civil Lawmaking. 1926; Constitution of the Democracy of Turkey. 1982. Part 3, Chapter 3, “Judiciary”; and Kocak, Mustafa. 2010. “Islam and National Law in Turkey.” In Otto, January Michiel, editor. “Sharia Incorporated: A Comparative Overview of the Legal Systems of Twelve Muslim Countries in By and Nowadays.” Leiden Academy Press, pages 231-272.(return to text)

viii For analysis of support for sharia among Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa, see the Pew Research Center’southward April 2010 study “Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa.” (return to text)

9 For analysis of back up for sharia among Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa, see the Pew Inquiry Center’s April 2010 report “Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa.” (return to text)

10 For analysis of religious observance amongst Muslims around the world, see the Pew Research Heart’s August 2012 report “The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diverseness.” (return to text)

11 For background on levels of religious observance in the countries surveyed, meet the Pew Research Center’s August 2012 written report “The World’south Muslims: Unity and Diversity.” (return to text)

12 For analysis of support for women’south rights among Muslims in sub-Saharan Africa see the Pew Research Center’due south Apr 2010 report “Tolerance and Tension: Islam and Christianity in Sub-Saharan Africa.” (return to text)

13 For background on levels of religious observance in the countries surveyed, see the Pew Research Eye’southward Baronial 2012 report “The World’due south Muslims: Unity and Multifariousness.” (return to text)

Photo Credit: © Scott E Barbour