Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Islamic attitudes

I've just had this little bit of research by the Pew Foundation brought to my attention (1).

I was particularly intruiged by this table, describing different responses received to questions about different specifically punishments mandated in Sharia law for different offenses:
What's striking is the difference of opinion among Muslim populations in different countries for what would be considered appropriate, which rather scotches the suggestion of monolithic Islamic thought on those matters.

As for the depressing figures from Egypt, I'd suggest they might be a result of decades of authoritarian rule, which would tend to push opposition to extremes.

It's almost as if things like modernisation, democracy and multi-culturalism challenge dogmatic primitive tribalist attitudes, leading to the formulation of more flexible and tolerant attitudes. Who'd have thought it?
1 - "Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah," study conducted by The Pew Foundation. Published on the Pew Foundation Website, 2nd of December, 2010. (

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