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Five takeaways from Pew’s comprehensive study on Islam
April 30th, 2013
03:33 PM ET

Five takeaways from Pew’s comprehensive study on Islam

By Dan Merica, CNN
[twitter-follow screen_name='DanMericaCNN']

Washington (CNN) – A Pew Research Center study released Tuesday takes an in-depth look at Islam, including how Muslims around the world view extremism, sharia law and the meeting of religion and politics.

The study is a four-year effort by Pew, which conducted 38,000 face-to-face interview in 80-plus languages for the survey. In total, 39 countries and territories were included, all of which had over 10 million Muslims living there.

Here are the report’s five major takeaways:

1.) Differences between U.S. and international Muslims are vast

While Muslims in the United States share a belief system with Muslims abroad, the Pew survey released Tuesday and a Pew survey on American Muslims from 2011 reveals wide differences between the two groups.

An overwhelming number of Muslims outside the United States told Pew that “Islam is the only religion that leads to eternal life in heaven.” Ninety-six percent of Egyptians and Jordanians, 95% of Iraqis and 94% of Moroccan Muslims responded that “Islam alone” leads to heaven.

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When all Muslims outside the United States were considered, only 18% said many religions can lead to heaven. In the United States, that number is 56%, according to the 2011 survey.

Additionally, U.S. Muslims were more likely to have friends who were not Muslim.

“About half of U.S. Muslims say that all (7%) or most (41%) of their close friends are followers of Islam, and half say that some (36%) or hardly any (14%) of their close friends are Muslim,” the survey reports.

By contrast, an average of 95% of Muslims outside the United States said “most or all of their friends are Muslims.”

2.) Sharia law favored, especially by more devout Muslims

A whopping 99% of Muslims in Afghanistan told Pew that they favor sharia law – a Muslim code that dictates everything from dietary laws to morals – as the official law of the land.

Though Afghanistan is by far the most supportive of sharia, majorities in countries like Iraq (91%), Palestinian territories (89%) and Malaysia (86%) favor applying sharia to everyone in their respective countries. Support for this viewpoint was particularly strong in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East-North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Analysis of the survey results by Pew found “most Muslims believe sharia is the revealed word of God rather than a body of law developed by men based on the word of God.”

Those who approve sharia becoming the law of the land generally pray more than their Muslim brethren.

Muslims who pray several times a day in Russia, for example, are over twice as likely to favor implementing Islamic law as the law of the land. The same split between those who pray several times a day and those who pray less often can be seen in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Tunisia and Turkey.

3.) Most Muslims believe religion, politics should be intertwined

A majority of Muslims surveyed in Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Middle East-North Africa told Pew that religious leaders in their respective countries should have political influence.

Much like favoring sharia law, religious devotion played an important role in these beliefs.

"Devout Muslims tend to be more supportive of religious leaders playing a role in politics,” the survey reads. “In a number of countries, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa but also in Southern and Eastern Europe, Muslims who pray several times a day are more likely than those who pray less frequently to say religious leaders should have at least some influence on political matters."

4.) Around the world, Muslims heralded religious freedom

Despite views that Islam should influence politics and law, an overwhelming number of Muslims told Pew that religious freedom was a good thing.

Ninety-seven percent of Muslims in South Asia, 95% in Eastern Europe, 94% in sub-Saharan Africa and 85% in the Middle East and North Africa responded positively to religious freedom, according to the poll.

“Overall, Muslims broadly support the idea of religious freedom,” the study states. “Among Muslims who say people of different religions are very free to practice their faith, three-quarters or more in each country say this is a good thing.”

5.) Islamic extremism widely rejected, but still a concern

Carrying out violent acts in the name of Islam is strongly rejected by Muslims around the world, according to the survey.

While a majority of Muslims, according to Pew, in all countries surveyed said “suicide bombing in defense of Islam” was rarely or never justified, “there are some countries in which substantial minorities think violence against civilians is at least sometimes justified.”

For example, in the Palestinian territories, 40% of Muslims said suicide bombing was often or sometime justified. In Afghanistan that number was 39% and in Egypt that number was 29%.

Despite most country’s disapproval of violence in the name of Islam, religious extremism – and in particular Muslim extremism – is a concern for a majority of Muslims in the world, according to the survey.

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“At least half of Muslims in 22 of the 36 countries where the question was asked say they are at least somewhat concerned about religious extremist groups in their country,” the report reads. “In most countries, Muslims are much more worried about Islamic extremists than Christian extremists.”

Concern over Muslims extremism was at it highest in Indonesia, Iraq and Guinea Bissau, where over 45% of Muslims said they were either very or somewhat concerned about violence in the name of Islam.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Belief • Islam • Islamic law • Polls

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soundoff (1,682 Responses)
  1. Demigod Vadik, CA

    Basically, the followers of Islam fall in the same range of beliefs as the followers of Christianity...

    ...who goes to heaven...

    ...religious laws (remember that 70% of devout Christians in the US favor Christian laws in this country)...

    ...overwhelming majority believe in freedom of choice when it comes to religion (way above what Christians believe)...

    ...and a overwhelming majority of Muslims condemns extremist and their acts of violence...

    May 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • lol??

      "Gal 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

      The Imams don't want their people to graduate.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • Tim

      Except for the fact that a third of our followers do not believe in suicide bombing as a viable option.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  2. Several months ago

    Several months ago I asked myself, "What happens to people's awareness when we die". It was the scariest question I've ever asked myself and it lead me here to sit back and view all of the religions and lack of religion, all the ideas and lack of ideas. A profound lack of evidence, a profound lack of research and everyone..EVERYONE battling to try and support whatever idea they came in with.

    It's the single sadest thing I've ever seen in my life.

    May 1, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
    • Demigod Vadik, CA

      Whatever makes you more comfortable...

      ...after all, no one has answered that question yet (with proof)...

      ...and BTW, it is the unknown we fear, not death...

      May 1, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      yeah cause the sciences are just as false as god right? ...Geology, Archeology, Sociology....physics ...math... chemistry astronomy..... completely groundless...no evidence there at all

      May 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
    • Several months ago

      Science hasn't done much to give us hope. I'd LOVE to see it do that. I wait on the sidelines reading every neurotheological data bit available as well as reading every near death experience.

      Help us, science..please. Dire need..deep dire need.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:22 pm |
    • Several months ago

      I also saw something about transfering thoughts into a computer program and a simulated computer model of a human..like a robot. Maybe replacing our old bodies with mechanical ones is a good way to try and find some answers. One bit at a time I suppose.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      What happens why we die? we rot....or get incinerated ....why are you worried (assuming you are serious)?
      you wont exist....nothing...nothing to fear at all ...billions have come and gone.....worry about life...now ..here living this matters...

      May 1, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
    • Science

      Several months ago

      Scientists Find Genes Linked to Human Neurological Disorders in Sea Lamprey Genome

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130224142915.htm

      Peace

      May 1, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Akira

      What ever brings one comfort is fine, I suppose.
      I do not fear death. It's a natural process. I understand that many do, however, and as John Lennon would say, "Whatever gets you through the night, is all right, is all right."

      May 1, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      was reading Science's article:) regenerative spinal cords...I like:))

      quite right Akira.... it does Zero good to worry about post death garbage.....make life as good as you can for yourself and those around you.... don't let others p iss away your life for their own ends (religion)

      May 1, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
    • Jon

      Read "God's Not Dead" by Rice Brooks. It will give you at least a few answers you seek.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Jon,

      Amit Goswami had a debate with Sam Harris ....if you have the time watch it on youtube.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • Science

      R.M. Goodswell..................old GW set it back years................... Stem cells

      May 1, 2013 at 7:53 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      my bad check that...I didn't punch in Rice Brooks...even still...

      May 1, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      @ Science

      yuppers:( as somebody said on these pages months ago: If not for religion we d be cruising around in true hover cars by now.

      Shrub was a perfect storm of a disaster for this country.

      May 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • You are a spoiled, arrogant child

      Several months ago "Science hasn't done much to give us hope"

      You have simply had it too good. If you were a bit older and had lived in a world without antibiotics and with polio, you would understand just how much "hope" science has given us.

      May 1, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • Several months ago

      Where do you get off calling me arrogant with an opening statement like that. I meant in response to dying..people still die. Learn how to read.

      May 3, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  3. lroy

    You know back when my parents were teenagers they used to have church socials....the Catholics, Baptists, Methodists all got together in rotation and just socialized. Both parents had friends of many faiths (my mother even had a couple who were Jews). Now, replace Muslim with any other religion and the result will be the same. My point is that people who pray devoutly (regardless of their particular faith), are more inclined to follow their particular religion's rules. That's why WE have such a problem with separation of church and state.

    May 1, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  4. ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

    Secular ism, self center ism is foundation of hinduism, racism as a religion, not of human, but of animals, atheist , self centered by nature, including fabrication of of Evolution, one of the fundamental of hinduism, racism as a religion, justified by observation and adaptation and imposition by force of hierarchic of animals as way of life.

    May 1, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Answer

      Boom, goes, slam. Reward: 1 raisin, 2 raisins, 3 raisins, 4.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
  5. Geoffrey

    At one time in my life, worked hard to be good enough to enter heaven; just like any good Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or even Christian. I was always so frustrated when I failed in achieving self righteousness. Then I realized that I was flawed. My carnal mind would frequently lead me astray. I could never achieve righteousness on my own efforts. I certainly was also guilty of past sin. I could never stand before a holy God in judgment.

    Then I realized that Jesus Christ already achieved the righteousness that I was working so hard towards. Jesus Christ did it all for me. I was freed from my carnal limitations. I am holy in Christ. I can stand before God in judgment and have Jesus Christ plead my case for me. Thank you Jesus.

    May 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • ISLAM FOUNDATION OF AMERICAN CONSTI TUTION

      Ya, you will get your PHD without going to school and earn your living without going to work, what a hindrance to truth absolute, hinduism denial of truth absolute in secular ism, self center ism of ignorant.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Several months ago

      Their logic, Islam source is that their diety is superior to them, therefore the conceed their well being in favor of the hands of that diety. In their minds they wouldn't be humbling themselves before the diety if they thought they could offer anything useful on their own.

      Geoffrey, not every skeptic or non believer is trying to mess with you or belittle you. You see, I just explained your rationale for you. I speak only for myself but I am not your enemy, I am just a frightened and confused person who wants proof thats all.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • Kona

      I never quite understood the whole Jesus-as-defense-council take that Xians have. Interesting that one part of the Trinity is defending humanity against another part of the Trinity. Well, I guess it's not so irrational once you understand how God has a habit of destroying the very things he creates.....kind of like a tortured sculptor or painter I suppose.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:28 pm |
    • Tim

      Amen brother!

      May 1, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Pole dancing for Jesus

      What a fool believes, no wise man has the power to reason away.

      May 1, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
  6. Geoffrey

    Is this the atheist version of “proselytizing”? Why do so many “non-believers” spend so much time on the Belief blog? You non-believers always try to belittle believers. Do you think you are smarter? Your pride will be your failing. I am content in my faith in Jesus Christ. No longer searching for the truth but always expanding my knowledge and understanding of God’s creation. That by-the-way, is the beginnings of science – the study and understanding of God’s creation.

    May 1, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Don

      If someone is up on stage talking about how an invisible man in the sky exists and someone shouts from the audience "No he doesn't!" would you consider that “proselytizing”? I doubt it. It's called heckling. It's the same thing Christians do to Muslims and other religions when those religions stand up on their platform and start talking about how Allah or Vishnu exist and the Christians shout "No he doesn't! God's name is Jesus you idiots!"

      If you don't like being heckled then get off the stage.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • Akira

      People belittle each other, it's not an atheist thing, or a Christian thing, it's a human thing.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Geoffrey, We live in a country where, despite separation of church and state, the religious want to teach their myths as science, want to display their religious symbols on public buildings, have put their deity on the currency, want to implement laws that follow their religious dictates, etc.
      There are christian districts outlawing Sharia law even though it's not likely to be a problem for decades if at all yet want to impose their religion on others.
      Don't you see why there is resistance?

      May 1, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
  7. WAEL

    GOD MADE US HUMAN OUT OF LOVE THEREFORE BEST OF HUMAN IS THE ONE SPEND HIS LIFE UPGRADING HUMAN'S LIFE LIKE THE ONE WHO INVENTED ELECTRICITY THEN ALL THE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT CAME ALONG SAVED UNCOUNTED LIFES OF HUMANS MUSLIMS AND AND NOT MUSLIMS ALL OF THEIER PRAYER WOULD NOT HELP ANY BODY BUT THIER OWN BUT HELPING HUMANITY IS SERVING GOD BY HELPING HIS DEAR CREATURES ALL OF THEM GOD BLAMED A PROPHET OF HIS WHEN HE REFUSED TO FEED AN ATHEIST PERSON TOLD THE PROPHET I MADE THE ATHEIST 60 YRS AGO AND FEED AND GAVE HIM EVERY THING HE NEED EVERY MINUTE OF HIS LIFE AND YOU COULD NOT FEED HIM JUST ONE MEAL .... WHAT A MERCIFUL GOD IF ONLY WE CAN LEARN MERCY AND LOVE FROM GOD THAT WE ALL CALIM FALSLY TO LOVE BY LIPS AND HURT HIS DEAR ONE HUMAN BY ACTION I AM MUSLIM AND I ADORE THE LOVE THAT COMES OUT OF CHRISTIAN PRIEST ALL THE TIME WISH OUR SCHOLAR CAN DO THE SAME BUT I GUESS IT IS A MATTER OF TIME TO PASS AND THINKING AND LOVING

    May 1, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
    • Answer

      Rabid.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm |
    • ==o==

      CAPS OFFISM

      May 1, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
    • RG86

      AHHH MY EYES, NOT THE CAPS LOCK, NOT THE CAPS LOCK AHHHHRHRHRRHGHGHGBLGUGHUBLGHUGH

      May 1, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Dippy

      Turn off your fucking caps lock, WAEL.

      May 1, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
  8. Mohammad

    if only Muslims and Christians would seek and read the original text, it will all get cleared but extremist Muslim will take a local Muslim scholar or leader's words just like Christians did after the disciples. Christians abandoned the original language of Bible, changed it and westernized it to the extent they dont even know how did God sounded to Jesus (Eesa) – not Greek, French or English!
    If everyone preserved the true religion, there was no need for so many religions and prophets. But humans are forgetful and sinners.

    May 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Nothing would be cleared up by reading the works of men in their original text...the only thing that will clear it up is to stop believing in myths.
      Join us in reality.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • lol??

      I posted to a muslim website in CA after they made some kinda deal with a woman methodist pastor. It was a low volume site like maybe 2-3 comments. They blew off my comment after a couple of weeks cuz they prefer the gril deal versus admitting their mistake.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • Akira

      If you were as respectlful there as you are here, lol??....or maybe if it's such a low volume site, they haven't been back to read it.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
  9. akht

    Islam and science go hand in hand.
    http://www.ediscoverislam.com/Quran-Islam-and-Science/Islam-Quran-and-Science/the-scientific-facts-creation-life-earth

    May 1, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Except that islam is made up BS, and science seeks actual truths.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • lroy

      At least Muslim is a world-wide recognized religion and not some freaky cult and I thank God (sorry, "ALLAH") for that.

      May 1, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
  10. tarheel6268

    I bet all of you non believers call to GOD all the time. I am a christian and you will never hear me say "oh my satan" when I am scared, or deep in pleasure. YOU call to GOD the one you dont believe in... talk about being backwards. Reading all of this makes me shake my head. a lot of you are so lost.... Jesus is real...

    May 1, 2013 at 6:39 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      You would lose that bet.

      Even the experts say jesus probably existed.

      The history of where the bible comes from shows the whole jesus myth was created by earlier cultures...the names changed and the story modified, but obviously taken from previous cultures.

      You claim he is real?...prove it or admit you do not know for sure.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
  11. PevanB

    “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me". – Jesus. That is final. Sorry no around that one, you can think that you know better but you will know the truth in the end and your knee WILL bow. Go ahead and post a reply but I KNOW that this is true and someday they will too.

    May 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      There is an obvious way around that one....don't believe everything you read. There is no reason to think the bible is anything more than man made, as well as all of the stories within, several of which have een disproved by science.
      Join us in reality.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:58 pm |
    • lroy

      Everything in the bible is true, but not necessarily literally. What if you're wrong...

      May 1, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • PevanB

      If I am wrong then I have lead a life worth living (loving people were they are (yes everyone), trying to be a better person, husband fathergiving away what I have as I can etc..). WHAT IF? WHAT IF? you are wrong?? what will happen to you? Is it worth it?

      May 1, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Iroy and PevanB, Pascal's Wager was discredited almost as soon as he made it.

      May 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
  12. Mohammad

    As a Muslim, violence is part of human DNA when God created as (proof in the Quran). It is encouraged by Satan to do bad and when humans let Satan take control of our desires and evil side then we cease to exist as true and peaceful humans. That is the test we all have to go through on this earth. Quran also states that any human believing in one creator and worshiping one the unseen will go to heaven with God's blessing. There is no need to take Pew research, read Quran. Also the polling should be done with the influential islamic local leaders who teach their form of islam in their locality. Most extremist Muslims have not read and understood Quran and what Sharia true means. The west portrays Sharia as a law of land but in fact it is law of God given to Muslims just like God gave to Moses and Jesus (Eesa – real name). Billions of Christians dont even know the real name of Jesus and claim to be Christians. In fact you are pegans if you do not know your beautiful teachings of Bible.

    May 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      mohamed was a lunatic ped0phile. All religions are based in ignorance and created by men...there is absolutely no evidence any of the thousands of gods men have created exist.

      And by the way, pagan is defined as someone who is not christian, muslim or jewish...it is not an insult or a bad thing at all.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • sam

      If you believe in nonsense llike satan, you're already a 50 cent cab ride from convincing yourself it's ok to do whatever stupid thing some book says.

      Logic fail.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Who told you there's a "God" ???

      May 1, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
  13. kev

    If the 72 virgins are hot and not fat pigs, then I may become a Muslim.

    May 1, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      they may be hot, at least some of them...but they never define which $ex they are nor their age...mohamed himself was a ped0phile so....good luck.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Get ready to fend off 70 virgins worth of vengeful ghostly relatives.....see they leave that part out:)

      May 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • akht

      kev, who cares about 72 virgins ,when your own wife will be 70,000 times more beautiful than any virgins or hoors!!

      May 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
    • sam

      The question is, what did those 72 virgins do that was so awful they got themselves condemned to belong to some smelly old guy in the afterlife?

      May 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      well we know what they didn't do.....and this is their heaven?

      May 1, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • DavidTX

      "The question is, what did those 72 virgins do that was so awful they got themselves condemned to belong to some smelly old guy in the afterlife?"

      Well, Muslim girls are born into heII, and married off to smelly old guys in this life, why should they expect anything different in the afterlife?

      May 1, 2013 at 7:46 pm |
  14. Forward Progressive

    Just what does this mean?
    "We cannot continue to rely on our military....We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded"
    Well, you koolaid chuggers-what is this all about???
    I wasn't aware our military wasn't reliable anymore. Maybe this goes toward explaining the massive ammo purchases by DHS and all the mine-resistant armored vehicles they're getting?

    May 1, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  15. Answer

    "learn new things"

    -Which new things does religion want you to learn?

    May 1, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
  16. Zongo

    Alll religions have great stories and have good life lessons and ideals, but in the end all we know for sure is that we have this present life on Earth. To live your life and not enjoy it because you think there will be a better afterlife is crazy. Most religions were created before humans knowledge of science, medical advances, technology, etc.... These religions explained life's mysteries to the common man, and also acted as a way of controlling people to be good or else you go to hell. Live your life and explore, learn new things, be open minded and treasure each day as it could be your last.

    May 1, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • DougNJ

      You are correct Sir

      May 1, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
  17. bostontola

    You can devote your life to 1) satisfy the rules that men scribed, purportedly from god, or you can devote you life to 2) bettering the living standard people. 1 is a religious life, 2 is a scientific/secular life. Comparing the accomplishments of each, I'll take option 2.

    A tiny sampling of the improvements to human life directly from option 2 are; antibiotics, mass produced fertilizer to feed people by taking nitrogen from the air, the light bulb, the printing press, anesthetics, too many other medicines to name, electronic/photonic computers and communication connecting the world, electricity to power the world, the refrigerator to preserve food, pasteurization to preserve food, medical devices like X-Rays, NMR, ultrsound, stethoscope, optical and other sensors like telescopes, microscopes to open our awareness of the universe at many more scales, artificial materials like plastics,...

    None of these things come from faith and prayer (F&P), they come from research and development (R&D). You can argue that scientific discoveries have sometimes been misused for evil, true, but the overwhelming net result is vast improvement to man's standard of living. Can religion match up to that in this world, or is it's only promise in the next?

    May 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Answer

      @bostonola

      If you looked into how the religious people view themselves (especially catholics); they often place the value of authority to their babble, to their priests, and to their church. The prefer to have an authority figure dictate towards them. They grant themselves to their role of being a "child" – that someone has to tell them how to behave.

      That is how they are. Pass off the responsibility to someone is willing and also placed into authority to forgive and also to judge them. In other words.. they want a parent.

      May 1, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
    • bostontola

      Answer,
      I think there is probably very complex set of things that result in people choosing option 1, your idea is probably true for many. I think people are indoctrinated when they are children and highly suggestible, evolution has made us trust our parents (for good reasons). Once that virus infects our species, it's tough to change.

      May 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
  18. Atheist

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55h1FO8V_3w

    May 1, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
  19. QuantumKev

    I'm curious how they (the Muslims in other countries) reconcile religious freedom with the implementation of sharia law..??? Doesn't seem to me like there is any real, practical religious freedom in countries like Afghanistan. Am I missing something?

    May 1, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Atheist

      Every religion is full of closet atheists.

      May 1, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      Religious freedom to Islam is you are free to join Islam at anytime..... sooner rather than later is expected.

      May 1, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Terry

      I'm curious how they (the Christians in this country) reconcile religious freedom with the implementation of adding "In God We Trust" to all our money??? Is not the freedom "from" religion just as important as the freedom "of" religion?

      May 1, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • R.M. Goodswell

      @Terry

      yes it is...or it should be....If freedom from religion was given the same respect, we ve had an atheist president by now.

      May 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
  20. Reality

    Only for the newbies:

    What Pew should have noted as a preface to their report:

    Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

    This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, the Filipino “koranics” and the Boston Marathon bomb idiots.

    And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

    Current crises:

    The Sunni-Shiite global blood feud (e.g. Iraq, Syria, Pakistan) and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

    May 1, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Atheist

      What are "as-sas-sinations"?

      I prefer ass-ass-inations.

      May 1, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Athy

      How about assassinations?

      May 1, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.