World Bulletin/News Desk
Large majorities in the Muslim world want the Islamic legal and moral code of sharia as the official law in their countries, but they disagree on what it includes and who should be subject to it, an extensive new survey says. A solid majority of Muslims, notably in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, were in favor of sharia, traditional Islamic law, being adopted as the law of the land.
The percentage of those in favor of sharia being implemented as their country’s law varied from eight percent in Azerbaijan to 99 per cent in Afghanistan. Suicide bombing was mostly rejected In the study by the Washington-based Pew Forum, violence carried out in the name of Islam was also widely rejected.
Three-quarters of respondents said abortion is morally wrong and 80 percent or more rejected homosexuality and sex outside of marriage.
Over three-quarters of Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia want sharia courts to decide family law issues such as divorce and property disputes, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life said on Tuesday.
Views on punishments such as chopping off thieves' hands or decreeing death for apostates, there was less support.
"Muslims are not equally comfortable with all aspects of sharia," the study said. "Most do not believe it should be applied to non-Muslims."
Amaney Jamal, a Princeton University political scientist who was special adviser for the project, said Muslims in poor and repressive societies tended to identify sharia with basic Islamic values such as equality and social justice.
"In those societies, you tend to see significant support for sharia," she told journalists on a conference call. By contrast, Muslims who have lived under "narrow if not rigid" Islamic systems were less supportive of sharia as the official law.
More than four-fifths of the 38,000 Muslims interviewed in 39 countries said non-Muslims in their countries could practice their faith freely and that this was good.
This view was strongest in South Asia, where 97 percent of Bangladeshis and 96 percent of Pakistanis agreed, while the lowest Middle Eastern result was 77 percent in Egypt.
The survey polled only Muslims and not minorities.
The survey produced mixed results on questions relating to the relationship between politics and Islam.
Democracy wins slight majorities in key Middle Eastern states - 54 percent in Iraq, 55 percent in Egypt - and falls to 29 percent in Pakistan. By contrast, it stands at 81 percent in Lebanon, 75 percent in Tunisia and 70 percent in Bangladesh.
Views on whether women should decide themselves if they should wear a headscarf vary greatly, from 89 percent in Tunisia and 79 percent in Indonesia saying yes and 45 percent in Iraq and 30 percent in Afghanistan saying no.
Majorities from 74 percent in Lebanon to 96 percent in Malaysia said wives should always obey their husbands.
Only four percent polled in Bosnia and Herzegovina considered polygamy morally acceptable, against 87 per cent in Niger. 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.
Only a minority saw Sunni-Shi'ite tensions as a very big problem, ranging from 38 percent in Lebanon and 34 percent in Pakistan to 23 percent in Iraq and 14 percent in Turkey.
Conflict with other religions loomed larger, with 68 percent in Lebanon saying it was a big problem, 65 percent in Tunisia, 60 percent in Nigeria and 57 percent in Pakistan.
A section of the survey on U.S. Muslims noted they "sometimes more closely resemble other Americans than they do Muslims around the world". Only about half say their closest friends are Muslim, compared to 95 percent of Muslims globally.Last Mod: 01 Mayıs 2013, 10:49