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MOST MUSLIMS WANT SHARI’AH LAW: STUDY

Muslim World

A majority of Muslims around the world want Shari’ah law to be implemented in their countries but are split on how it should be applied, according to a study released on 30 April. The Pew Research Centre survey conducted between 2008 and 2012 focused on 38,000 people in 39 countries drawn from a global Muslim community of 2.2 billion people. A solid majority, notably in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, were in favour of Shari’ah being adopted as “the law of the land” in their countries, it found.

“But I would also note that support for making Shari’ah law does vary,” said Jim Bell, Pew’s director of international survey research. From 12 per cent in Turkey, support for Shari’ah as official national law stood at 56 per cent in Tunisia, 71 per cent in Nigeria, 72 per cent in Indonesia, 74 per cent in Egypt and 99 per cent in Afghanistan.

Titled “The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society,” the study also revealed many Muslims favour applying Shari’ah in the private sphere to settle family or property disputes. A majority of Muslims are also in favour of freedom of religion, even while backing Shari’ah. In Pakistan, for example, 84 per cent of Muslims want Shari’ah enshrined as official law but 75 per cent believe non-Muslims are free to practise their religion.



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