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Majorities in such countries say sharia should be enshrined as official law, including at least nine-in-ten Muslims in Afghanistan (99%) and Iraq (91%).

By comparison, in countries where Islam is not legally favored, roughly a third or fewer Muslims say sharia should be the law of the land.

Attitudes toward Islamic law vary significantly by region.

Support for making sharia the law of the land is highest in South Asia (median of 84%).

Asked whether religious judges should decide family and property disputes, at least half of Muslims living in countries that have religious family courts answer yes.

By contrast, in countries where secular courts oversee family matters, fewer than half of Muslims think that family and property disputes should be within the purview of religious judges.

Distinct legal and political cultures may help to explain the differing levels of support for sharia.

Many of the countries surveyed in Central Asia and Southern and Eastern Europe share a history of separating religion and the state.

Within regions, support for enshrining sharia as official law is particularly high in some countries with predominantly Muslim populations, such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

But support for sharia is not limited to countries where Muslims make up a majority of the population.

Support is especially low in Kazakhstan (10%) and Azerbaijan (8%).

The survey also finds that views about instituting sharia in the domestic-civil sphere frequently mirror a country’s existing legal system.

As part of these changes, traditional sharia courts were eliminated in the 1920s.

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