Home Headline News End Times Update False Prophets, False Preachers, and False Teaching A New Global Metric of Muslim Beliefs and Practices Key insights from a revealing new report.

A New Global Metric of Muslim Beliefs and Practices Key insights from a revealing new report.

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Surveys conducted by Pew Research have revealed a great deal about Muslim beliefs and practices across the globe.  But they fall short of providing an overall picture of the Muslim world because they are divided by country or region.

The Muslim Global Demographic Project was established to answer this need by compiling Pew survey information in order to compute global percentages and global population statistics on Islamic beliefs and practices as they relate to security, terrorism, and the potential threat to Western culture.[1]

Taken together, nearly 1.1 billion Muslims are represented in the 39 countries where Pew surveys were completed between 2008 and 2012.[2]  This encompasses two-thirds of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims (based on a 2010 estimate), though not every country was polled in all of the survey questions.[3]  Since the surveys cover only countries with substantial Muslim populations, the United States and Western Europe were not included.

Some of the key findings of the project are presented here.  For the complete report and analysis, see “Muslim Beliefs & Practices:  A Global Demographic Assessment.”

Most Muslims Believe there is Only One Islam

67% (736.3 million) of Muslims surveyed believe that there is only one true interpretation of Islam’s teachings.  Disagreements over the interpretation of Islam have sometimes resulted in deadly violence, mostly between Sunnis and Shias.  However, the acceptance of Shias by Sunni Muslims varies considerably between countries.  Though most Muslims are certain about the true interpretation of Islam, they are divided over how far to stretch the boundaries of Islam.

Devout Muslims—those who say their lives reflect the hadith and the sunna to a considerable degree—comprise 41% (369.7 million) of the survey population. [4]  Statistically, they are more likely to say that (1) sharia is the revealed word of Allah, (2) that Islam and sharia have only one interpretation, (3) that proselytizing is a religious duty, and (4) that sharia should be the official law of their country.[5]

Most Muslims Prefer to Live Under Sharia…

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