In a recent article in The Economist, athe moral code and religious law of Islam. of 38,000 Muslims conducted in 39 countries examined the opinions that Muslims in predominately Islamic nations expressed on a number of issues related to sharia law, such as religious freedom, the use of religious judges, and the execution of those who leave Islam.
In Morocco 78% of respondents think that non-Muslims are free to practice their faith and 79% of those think this is “a good thing.” Yet 83% of this group wantsenshrined in their nation’s law. A majority of Thais (77%) and Pakistanis (84%) yearn for Islamic law too. But most also say that other religions are free to worship (79% and 75% respectively) and they agree that this is “a good thing.” Religious freedom, however, is a slippery term, with implications for individuals and for the collective practice of faith. Muslims in some countries both strongly approve of religious freedom and support the death penalty for apostates from Islam. Three-quarters of Pakistanis who favor agree.
Views vary over how The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.should be applied. Tunisian backers when asked about specific features of sharia law, support the use of religious judges (62%), but have far less appetite for executing apostates (29%). And those countries where most support are not always its strictest followers, though around three-quarters endorse it in both Indonesia and Egypt. And 74% of Egyptians who favor also think it should apply to non-Muslims, the highest proportion among polled countries. To read the full report, please visit
TeachingWithData.org is a partnership between the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN), both at the University of Michigan. The project is funded by NSF Award 0840642, George Alter (ICPSR), PI and William Frey (SSDAN), co-PI.
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