New Pew Research Report on Muslims
Wow! If you didn’t already realize how diverse and in-flux are the beliefs of Muslims, you’ll see it here at the Pew Forum site. This is no brief “boil it down to a few general statements” kind of report. (Note: map below is from a 2009, earlier survey)
Rather, it is very specific to any primarily Muslim countries…. Some pretty surprising statistics on things like the application of sharia (traditional Islamic law) as the official law for different countries! There are, of course, lots of complications implied if this popular idea were widely implemented. When thought through completely, the numbers may become a lot different. The report shows that the Muslim world is in the kind of rapid transition that we would expect, given the meteoric rise of new communication “connectivity”, globalization of commerce and other powerful economic, political and social forces. No religion is an island in relation to such forces.
While the immediate future looks troubling, probably from within as well as outside Islam, one can see in the report that the world is being forced to mature and its second largest religion is right at the center of that.