Who Are the Iraqi Kurds?
Kurds are playing a major role in the current conflict in Iraq, and are often mentioned alongside Iraq’s Sunni and Shia Muslim populations. But Kurds are an ethnic group, not a distinct religious sect within Islam; nearly all Iraqi Kurds consider themselves Sunni Muslims.
Iraq’s Unique Place in the Sunni-Shia Divide
An ongoing and intensifying conflict has fallen along sectarian lines in Iraq, one of only a handful of countries that has more Shia Muslims than Sunnis. A Fact Tank post analyzes the divide between the two sects.
Many Sunnis and Shias Worry About Religious Conflict
This week Sunni and Shia Muslims ushered in the Islamic New Year and the beginning of the holy month of Muharram. For Shias, the month also is a time to mourn the events that sparked the centuries-old schism between Shia and Sunni Muslims. An analysis of polls conducted in 2011-2012 finds high levels of concern about sectarian tensions in several countries where Sunnis and Shias live side by side.
Iranians’ Views Mixed on Political Role for Religious Figures
As Iranians prepare to elect a new president on June 14, a Pew Research survey shows that just 40% think religious figures should play a large role in politics, while a quarter say religious figures should have some influence, and three-in-ten believe they should have little or no influence. But an overwhelming majority of Iranians say they back the use of Islamic law.
Among Muslims, Internet Use Goes Hand-in-Hand With More Open Views Toward Western Culture
A new Pew Research analysis finds that Muslims around the world who use the internet are much more likely than other Muslims to have a favorable opinion of Western movies, music and television and are somewhat more likely to see similarities between Islam and Christianity.
Pakistani Views on Religion, Politics and Democracy
Pakistanis are scheduled to go to the polls to elect a new parliament and governing party or coalition on May 11. But a Pew Research Center survey of Muslims around the world finds that Pakistani Muslims are among the least likely to express support for democracy.
Infographic: The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society
The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society
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.
Concerns About Religious Extremism in Boston Bombings Suspects’ Homelands
A new Pew Research Center survey finds high levels of concern about religious extremism among Muslims living in the North Caucasus area of Russia and the neighboring Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. It also finds that most Muslims in the region reject violence against civilians.
State Legislation Restricting Use of Foreign or Religious Law
On Monday, the Oklahoma Senate passed a bill intended to prevent the use of foreign law in state courts. The bill contains language from model legislation designed to limit the use of sharia, or Islamic law. A new interactive map details similar bills introduced or enacted in 32 states between 2010 and 2012.