WASHINGTON (AFP) – Muslims worldwide believe Islamic law is compatible with democracy and most admire values championed by the US but doubt Washington is serious about implementing them overseas, according to a poll.

The Gallup poll, conducted in the Palestinian territories as well as nine predominantly Muslim countries representing more than 80 percent of the global Muslim population, showed that majorities believe Sharia law and democracy can co-exist in a government and that Islamic law should be at least a source of legislation.

In Egypt, for example, 66 percent of those polled said Sharia must be the only source of legislation while in Pakistan 60 percent felt that way, in
Iran 17 percent and in Turkey nine percent.

Interestingly, Gallup posed the same question to Americans, 55 percent of whom felt that the Bible must play a role in legislation.

Dalia Mogahed, a senior analyst at Gallup and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, said she was surprised at the findings which send a message to the US administration that it should rethink its policies when dealing with the Muslim world.

“This poll tells the United States that the rise of Islamic parties and their wins in elections are something that is not going to go away and that continuing to work on creating a secular alternative might not necessarily result in the kinds of electoral wins that they expect,” Mogahed told AFP.


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