Most Muslims Believe Islam Should Shape Society

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- A new Pew Research study reveals that most Muslims believe Islam is the only true faith and its teachings should influence not only their personal lives but also the societies in which they live.

The ambitious research project, entitled "The World's Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society," is based on more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews with Muslims residents of 39 countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

The survey found that most Muslims support Sharia (Islamic) law and believe their religious leaders should influence political issues in their respective countries.

A majority of respondents in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia want Sharia to be the official law of the land.

  • 99 percent in Afghanistan
  • 72 percent in Indonesia
  • 71 percent in Nigeria
  • 74 percent in Egypt
  • 89 percent in the Palestinian areas

Forty percent of Muslims residing in the Palestinian Authority -- four out of 10 -- consider suicide bombing as "often or sometimes" justifiable, a percentage point higher than Afghan Muslims.

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