Muslim Survey – Pew Global Attitudes 2010

Muslims prefer democracy but want stoning for adultery and death for apostasy

A full copy of this survey of seven Muslim countries can be seen here or downloaded from here.

These results are shocking. Most Muslims favour stoning to death for adultery, whipping or amputation for theft, and the death penalty for apostasy.

They are so shocking you might be inclined to look for excuses; stoning and amputation don’t happen that much, they are more a symbol of how crime is frowned upon. [You could also believe that if the threat of extremely harsh punishment is the only answer to wrong doing then that society has a problem.]

But death for apostasy! For your beliefs, your conscience. Well, that gets right to the heart of the problem with Islam.

And around a half (85% in Pakistan!) want gender segregation in the workplace. Can Muslims think only of nothing but procreation. How can you run a modern economy like that?

You might wonder too, what the results would have been if Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq had been included in the survey.

Islam’s Role in Political Life

Majorities of Muslims in three of the six predominantly Muslim countries surveyed, as well as in Nigeria, say that Islam plays a very or fairly large role in the political life of their countries.

Role of Islam in Politics
% who say role is:
Country Large Small DK
Indonesia 89 10 1
Nigeria 88 11 1
Turkey 69 19 12
Lebanon 54 45 1
Egypt 48 49 3
Pakistan 46 36 18
Jordan 34 64 2

In Pakistan, a 46% plurality of Muslims say Islam plays a large role, while 36% say it plays a small role in Pakistani politics. Opinions are about evenly divided in Egypt, where 48% of Muslims say Islam plays a large role in their country’s political life and 49% say it plays only a small role.

Most Welcome Islam’s Influence

Muslims in Nigeria and in nearly all of the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed overwhelmingly welcome Islamic influence over their countries’ politics.

Islam’s Influence in Politics
% who say it is:
Country Positive Negative NS
Indonesia 91 6 3
Egypt 85 2 13
Nigeria 82 10 8
Jordan 76 14 10
Pakistan 69 6 22
Lebanon 58 32 10
Turkey 38 31 31

Only in Turkey are opinions about the role of Islam in political life more mixed. About four in ten (38%) Turkish Muslims say Islam plays a large role and embrace its influence in their country’s politics or say it is bad that Islam plays only a small role; about three-in-ten (31%) say Islam’s influence is negative.

Views of Gender Segregation

Muslim publics offer mixed views of gender segregation in the workplace. Pakistani Muslims are the most supportive: 85% say they would favor making segregation of men and women in the workplace the law in their country. A narrower majority (54%) of Muslims in Egypt also support making gender segregation the law in their country.

Gender Segregation in the Workplace
% who:
Country Favour Oppose NS
Pakistan 85 11 4
Egypt 54 44 2
Jordan 50 44 6
Nigeria 49 48 3
Indonesia 38 59 3
Turkey 13 84 3
Lebanon 11 89

In Lebanon, Turkey and Indonesia, majorities of Muslims reject legalized gender segregation in the workplace. More than eight-in-ten in Lebanon (89%) and Turkey (84%) express this opinion, as do 59% of Muslims in Indonesia. In most of the countries where this question was asked, men and women express similar views of gender segregation in the workplace.

Support for Severe Laws

Majorities of Muslims in Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and Nigeria say they would favor making harsh punishments such as stoning people who commit adultery; whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery; and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion the law in their country.

Views of Harsh Punishments
% who favour:
Country Stoning for
Adultery
Whipping
& Amputation
Death for
Apostasy
Egypt 82 77 84
Pakistan 82 82 76
Jordan 70 58 86
Nigeria 56 65 51
Indonesia 42 36 30
Lebanon 23 13 6
Turkey 16 13 5

For the most part, views of strict punishments do not vary consistently across demographic groups in seven countries where these questions were asked. One notable exception, however, is in Nigeria, where Muslim men express considerably more support than Muslim women for these types of punishments.

The original Pew table uses these headings

Stoning people who commit adultery
Whippings/cutting off of hands for theft and robbery
Death penalty for people who leave the Muslim religion

Support for Democracy

In nearly all of the countries surveyed, support for harsh punishments such as stoning people who commit adultery, whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion coexists with support for democratic governance.

Views of Democracy
Country Preferable Not Always
Preferable
Doesn’t Matter
for Me
DK
Lebanon 81 12 5 2
Turkey 76 6 5 13
Jordan 69 17 10 4
Nigeria 66 18 16 1
Indonesia 65 12 19 4
Egypt 59 22 16 2
Pakistan 42 15 21 22

With the exception of Pakistan, majorities of Muslims in all of the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed and in Nigeria say that democracy is preferable to any other kind of government.

The original Pew table uses these headings

Democracy is preferable to any other kind of government
In some circumstances, a non-democratic government can be preferable
For someone like me, it doesn’t matter what kind of government we have

Survey Details

Sample design: Multi-stage cluster sample stratified proportional to population size and urban/rural population. Mode: Face-to-face adults 18 plus. Language: Main language of country. Fieldwork dates: April – May, 2010. Sample size: 1,000. Margin of error: ±4.0 percentage points. Representative: Adult population. With the following exceptions:

Indonesia: Sample design representative of roughly 88% of the population

Lebanon: Sample design excludes a small area in Beirut controlled by a militia group and a few villages in the south Lebanon, which border Israel and are inaccessible to outsiders.

Pakistan: Sample design excludes the FATA/FANA areas, Azad Jammu and Kashmir for security reasons as well as areas of instability in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa [formerly the North-West Frontier Province] and Baluchistan – roughly 16% of the population, with disproportional sampling of the urban population. Sample size: 2,000. Margin of error: ±3.0 percentage points.

The Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project

The Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project conducts public opinion surveys around the world on a broad array of subjects ranging from people’s assessments of their own lives to their views about the current state of the world and important issues of the day. More than 240,000 interviews in 57 countries have been conducted as part of the project’s work.

The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does so by conducting public opinion polling and social science research; by analyzing news coverage; and by holding forums and briefings. It does not take positions on policy issues.

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