Posted by Zia Shah
Source: Pew Research Center
A new survey report looks at attitudes among Muslims in 39 countries on a wide range of topics, from science to sharia, polygamy to popular culture. The survey finds that overwhelming percentages of Muslims in many countries want Islamic law to be the official law of their land, but there is also widespread support for democracy and religious freedom.
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In nearly all countries surveyed, a majority of Muslims say that a wife should always obey her husband. At the same time, there also is general agreement – at least outside sub-Saharan Africa – that a woman should have the right to decide for herself whether to wear a veil in public.
Muslims are less unified when it comes to questions of divorce and inheritance. The percentage of Muslims who say that a wife should have the right to divorce her husband varies widely among the countries surveyed, as does the proportion that believes sons and daughters should inherit equally.
In some, but not all, countries surveyed, Muslim women are more supportive of women’s rights than are Muslim men. Differences on these questions also are apparent between Muslims who want sharia to be the official law of the land in their country and those who do not.
Muslims in many of the countries surveyed generally favor a woman’s right to choose whether to wear a veil in public.30 This view is especially prevalent in Southern and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Southeast Asia, including at least nine-in-ten Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina (92%), Kosovo (91%) and Turkey (90%).
There is less agreement among Muslims in the Middle East-North Africa region and South Asia. While more than eight-in-ten Muslims in Tunisia (89%) and Morocco (85%) say women should have the right to choose whether they wear a veil, fewer than half in Egypt (46%), Jordan (45%), Iraq (45%) and Afghanistan (30%) say the same.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the one region surveyed where most Muslims donot think women should have the right to decide if they wear a veil. The only country in the region where a majority supports a woman’s right to decide is Senegal (58%); by contrast, fewer than a third support giving women this right in Nigeria (30%) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (29%).